Alain St. Ange Biography Set for Launch on Sept 30, 2023 in Bali

Alain St. Ange biography to be launched in Bali

A biography on the former Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Alain St. Ange is set to be launched later this month in Bali at the first global summit by the World Tourism Network (WTN), Tourism International Mart & Expo (TIME) 2023.

Last year St. Ange announced that he was finalizing his autobiography that will be launched under the title of ‘Alain St. Ange – My Journey’, but those who know him and who have worked alongside him have decided to his tourism successes have now published a book that marks his lifelong dedicated life in tourism and for tourism.

A biography “Alain St. Ange – A Life in Tourism” will be launched during a tourism summit that will be held in Bali on the 30th September 2023. Pascal Viroleau of La Reunion, the Author of the biography writes in his Preface: ‘This biography of Alain St. Ange dedicated on his life in tourism starts nevertheless from his early years as the La Digue Island boy, who was brought up to become a loving father and grandfather, and who rose through the ranks with hard work, tenacity, and an unwavering passion for Seychelles.

Alain St. Ange: A Life in Tourism, a biography by Pascal Viroleau
The autobiography, “Alain St. Ange, My Journey” is being finalized…

“I am well placed to be the author of a biography of Alain St. Ange on his life in tourism. As the Head of Tourism of Reunion Island, and later as the CEO of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, I worked closely with Alain St. Ange during his years as Director of Marketing and as CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, and later as the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture, before his appointment as the Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine.

“It was under his leadership, that I not only witnessed, but participated in the creation of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands where I was appointed CEO of this Regional Organisation. I also followed and supported his bid to become the Secretary General of the United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and was present in Madrid, Spain when the announcement reached him that Seychelles had withdrawn his nomination to represent the islands just a day before the UNWTO election.

“I was also present when he addressed the UNWTO General Assembly on the UNWTO Election Day and delivered a speech in both French and English, the speech that was considered by most present as the most emotional address ever delivered at a UNWTO General Assembly and where he received a standing ovation which left many tourism ministers present crying as he left the hall surrounded by his daughter Michelle, his brother Jose and wife Michelle and sister in law Babette.

“This is why I can say that in writing this biography I spent time as his friend collating after a series of interviews is a personal story of The Life of Alain St. Ange in Tourism. It is not only about his life he says that he has been proud of, but it is also about his family that helped shape him into the man he became. Alain St. Ange says that his love for history is why he agreed to sit and open up to place on record not only his life in tourism, but also the family who stood by him, his wife Ginette St. Ange, née Michel and his daughters Christine and Michelle.

“This work became inspired by the desire to document and preserve his life in tourism for future generations. It is said that most of us will be forgotten within four generations; this prompted Alain St. Ange to say that his descendants, the People of Seychelles, and the Tourism Community at large will understand where tourism in Seychelles came from and the work he did.

“I am writing this biography about the Life of Alain St. Ange in Tourism now as time waits for no one, and Alain St. Ange is at the best stage of his life to reflect and dedicate the time required for the needed interviews needed to collate this document. Alain St. Ange said that he was proud of his story and felt that it may well inspire others. It is with this frame of mind that he kept working and digging through family historical records and from documents he was personally working on for his Autobiography My Journey.

Alain St. Ange says he realizes today more than ever before pains and tribulations of past generations, from as far back as those who were slaves, where even the family name was adapted to the one who freed them, to today only six generations later, for him to have participated in the Seychelles Presidential Elections of 2020.

The saying that ‘Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path’ can be seen as true and real in the case of the St. Ange family. The many challenges Alain St. Ange faced will be seen in this biography as well the realisation that he needed to be more concerned with his character that his reputation.”

Alain St. Ange was born on 24 October 1954, and through this biography he recounts his life in tourism and his work in tourism. “YOU MAY SAY I’M A DREAMER, BUT I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE. I HOPE SOME DAY YOU’LL JOIN US, AND THE WORLD WILL LIVE AS ONE. Alain St. Ange re-echoed these famous words of John Lennon when, as CEO of Tourism in Seychelles, he was officially opening the first edition of the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ in 2011, and even today, these words continue to guide him. Alain St. Ange says that he has lived a full life with no what-ifs and that he has remained true to himself throughout. What more can one ask from life?”

Dr. Nico Barito Special Envoy of Seychelles for ASEAN who writes the Forward to the book on his part said: “I have known Alain St. Ange since he served as Director of Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) back in 2009. Our country Seychelles was then still reeling from the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The number of tourist arrivals in the archipelago was stalling and the contribution of the tourism industry to the gross domestic product declined very rapidly.

“I was a newly adopted Seychelles citizen representing the country in Indonesia then and I was glad to meet with Alain and his modalities to promote tourism, not only the sun, sea, and sand but also eco-culture tourism through the Seychelles International Carnival. Since then, we have worked hand in hand to include the diversity of cultures from Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bhutan, and other countries in the world to showcase their local, unique wisdom in the annual Seychelles carnival.

“The event incorporates international media, celebrities, and local governments from every walk of life to join Seychelles in promoting a melting pot of culture. The overall effort was rewarding. In 2010, Seychelles recorded a 7.3 increase in international tourist arrivals, compared to just over 3% in 2009, and booked a 2.89% hike in tourism revenue to reach $373.3 million. Since then, tourist arrivals and tourism revenue have rapidly increased every year. We are proud that our country’s tourism industry withstood the Covid-19 pandemic and was able to reopen for public again by early 2021…”

The Book ‘Alain St. Ange – A Life in Tourism’ starts with a section of his years as a ‘Proud Farm Boy of La Digue’ that says right at the start that most politicians fade away into oblivion as soon as they leave public office. Not Alain Saint Ange. Years after resigning from his post as Seychelles’ minister of tourism, civil aviation, ports, and marine, the father of two remains a most sought-after speaker, trainer, and consultant of global tourism industry.

Alain, 69 years old, is currently working closely with different tourism boards and tourism ministries in different parts of the world. He has since February 2023 been hired as an international technical consultant for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture of the Republic of Ghana and is tasked with helping the West African country become number one tourism destination in the continent and increasing the sector’s contribution to Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP).

As recently as July 2023, Alain was appointed as African-Asian Union (AFASU) Vice Chairman for Tourism Division and Vice Chairman of AFASU Golden Awards Committee. A private sector entity based in Cairo, Egypt, AFASU promotes tourism, craft development, research, and e-commerce with the goal of growing tourism sector and improve people’s livelihood through technologically advanced measures.

He is currently the deputy secretary-general of FORSEAA, the Forum of Small Medium Economic AFRICA-ASEAN in Jakarta, a consultant for Travel Marketing Network in New York, co-chair of Strong Universal Network (SUNx) Organisation in London, and vice president and founding member of International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP). Locally, he remains in regular contact with many players in the industry and therefore he remains part of the tourism industry’.

His life on La Digue as well as his years at Seychelles College is covered before the Section 2 of the Book that covers his long working years in tourism that started with working with his father Karl St.Ange at the Cabanes Des Anges Hotel at La Digue. As a respected Tourism expert today, Alain Saint Ange has received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Trade Fair in Berlin last March 2023. Alain did spend his working life in the tourism industry, managing hotels and restaurants in Seychelles, Guernsey in the Channel Islands, and Australia.

His years in the public service started with Minister of Transport and Tourism Mathew Servina who personally asked Alain to join his ministry during a trip to La Digue in early 1981. His up and down saw him promoted to the position of Assistant to the Director of Tourism by John Enright in 1982 before being terminated by President Albert Rene and joined the long list of Seychellois living in exile and later returning to the Civil Service with President James Michel in 2009 to be Director of Marketing after the private sector trade led by the Tourism Association Chairman Louis D’Offay had convinced the Government that tourism marketing needed to be overseen by the private sector.

He then became the CEO of the Tourism Board and finally Minister of Tourism after many years in the private sector trade in Seychelles. The book covers the drive by Alain St. Ange to achieve the highest level of visibility for the islands quoting his as saying: – “Visibility is everything in tourism industry, it guarantees success. If you are not visible, you fade out. As they say ‘out of sight out of mind’ and in tourism it means not relevant anymore as a possible holiday destination”.

Alain’s creativity and hard work in marketing Seychelles were duly recognised on the world stage in 2013 when the World Economic Forum released its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index report that put Seychelles at the top of the sub-Saharan region and 38th overall. “Before this era Seychelles was not even rated in the hit-parade of World Tourism analyzed and issued in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. Suddenly recognition was everywhere, with the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013 ranking Seychelles for the first time at the top of the sub-Saharan region and 38th overall,” Alain is quoted as saying in the book.

The book by Pascal Viroleau also republishes a number of articles by tourism personalities and press about Alain St. Ange before ending with his UNWTO saga when he ran to be Secretary General of the world body.

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