For decades the Seychelles has seen activities and events being organized but never before has one event captured the imagination of the people of Seychelles and earned their support. The launch of the Carnaval International de Victoria five years ago has captivated Seychelles and public support for this event has grown annually making it today the biggest event ever organized in Seychelles.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and its Tourism Board has managed to stage an event that clearly appeals to the Seychellois Community and they have continued to show their support for the three days of the carnival events by being out and about in Victoria” said Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture.
At the 2015 edition of the island’s carnival Minister Alain St.Ange, accompanied by Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Tourism Board, Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism and Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture led the first part of the carnival procession themselves. As the main organizers of the event that has captured the Seychelles they were seen at the front of the parade waving to the large crowd who had gathered alongside the carnival route.
“We all feel good at the Ministry and at the Tourism Board because we have managed to stage an event that the Seychellois want, that they appreciate and that they support with their heart. The opening ceremony is popular, the carnival parade continues to see the Seychellois gather in Victoria to such a degree that it is now over flowing with people and the carnival closing ceremony is today recognized as the only event that manages to fill to capacity ‘Freedom Square’ in the centre of Victoria. The text messages, emails and letters we continue to receive year after year shows clearly that what we are doing is appreciated. It shows that our efforts are being well received by the people of Seychelles” Minister St.Ange said.
The carnival in Seychelles has grown to become listed as a world classed event on the calendar of events of the Community of Nations. The Press Community continues to be supportive of this carnival that brings to life the concept of the ‘Melting Pot of Cultures’ and they have now baptized the event as the Carnival of Carnivals.
Kitty J. Pope from the U.S.A. is often quoted because of a document she published following the fourth edition of the Seychelles carnival. Kitty J. Pope wrote:- “It was over four years ago that the Honorable Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange came up with the idea of organizing a huge carnival where nations from around the world could parade their cultures. With many countries already having their own unique carnivals, St.Ange envisioned an international carnival that would bring nations together in one setting to not only showcase their cultures, but also to help promote an understanding of multiculturalism. He went on to launch the Seychelles International Carnival where communities of nations get the opportunity to network and socialize in a relaxed atmosphere. The first of its kind, the carnival, which has grown every year, has come to be known as the “Carnival of Carnivals.”
St.Ange says that the carnival is a unique world event for bringing nations together where different cultures are respected as well as celebrated. “Even in the General Assembly of the United Nations when some world leaders stand to deliver their address, some delegates walk out, but here respect for everyone is and will remain the key to ties of friendship and togetherness,” he explains.
Supporting St.Ange’s view of the carnival, Canadian journalist Carol Perhudof said that she has come to believe that the “Carnaval International de Victoria” could help to change the world because it’s a celebration of every culture together. “The Seychelles Carnival is a brilliant tourism idea that helps bring us to a point where we can live in harmony beyond colour of skin, to live in peace with each other,” said Perehudoff, after her first visit for Seychelles Fourth International Carnival.
Through this “Carnival of Carnivals,” St.Ange has no doubt embarked on a global multicultural movement where people can capture the spirit of internationalism to gain a better understanding and appreciation of another country’s culture. Seychelles Carnival has captured the interest of leaders, tourism officials and travelers alike from the world over. As word spreads near and far among VIPs, media sources and curious tourists, the carnival has continued to get more popular each year. So just what is it about St.Ange that has allowed him to be able to successfully devise such an ingenious way to propel people and nations to come together under one accord?
For one thing, he has been dubbed a master marketer and promoter by Creole International Magazine, published in the UK, as he was able to turn around visitation numbers to substantially increase tourism arrivals in Seychelles. Implementing and forging forth the tourism portfolio set forth by President James Michel, St.Ange’s tourism approach and marketing methods have proven to be extremely effective, garnering him invitations from a host of countries and organizations that want to learn about the “Seychelles Tourism Brand” as a guide for replication”.