Minister Michael Mabuyakhulu, the South African KwaZulu Natal Minister for Economic Development and Tourism and Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture met at the World Travel Market Tourism Trade Fair in London, and together they discussed several opportunities for future possible cooperation.
KwaZulu Natal with Durban as it Port of Entry wants to become more seen and more recognized and its Minister for Economic Development and Tourism has said that they want to maximize their Port and Airport by opening up to regional traffic. “We have every facility we need to now open Durban as a gateway for both sea and air travel and we have South Africa Express willing and ready to work with us to open regional routes direct into Durban” Minister Michael Mabuyakhulu said.
The South African KwaZulu Natal Minister for Economic Development and Tourism and the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture discussed in great details possibilities of direct air links and cruise ship business between Seychelles and Durban. “As Seychelles is always being proactive in its drive to work to consolidate its tourism industry, it was important for us to discuss specific avenues of cooperation that could, and that would benefit both KwaZulu Natal and Seychelles” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
The South African KwaZulu Natal Minister for Economic Development and Tourism explained during the meeting of their new air access plans with regional countries and KwaZulu Natal. Close to Seychelles, these include even the neighboring country of Mozambique which is also working to grow in the tourism industry.
Minister Michael Mabuyakhulu works with, and works alongside the continued efforts by the South African Minister responsible for Tourism to make South Africa the main tourism destination of Africa. It must be noted that Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture and Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s Minister for Tourism already enjoy a close working relationship and that Minister St.Ange and Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk also met on the Seychelles Stand at WTM 2012. Their discussions centered on continued cooperation between South Africa and Seychelles.
Both Ministers also participated at the UNWTO/WTM Ministers’ Summit.
At the end of the meeting between the South African KwaZulu Natal Minister for Economic Development and Tourism and the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture it was agreed to have necessary official communication addressed to the Seychelles Minister responsible for Internal Affairs and Transport to seek appropriate meetings with Air Seychelles and the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority.
The question of tourism at the African (AU) level was also discussed and here the decision adopted by the two Ministers is to bring the matter forward at the Head of State level.
The South African KwaZulu Natal Minister for Economic Development and Tourism has in the past worked in Seychelles when KwaZulu Natal Shark Body assisted Seychelles with preparedness strategies in case of incidents at sea. The Minister is also considering for KwaZulu Natal being part of the annual Carnaval International de Victoria that is staged in Seychelles.