Seychelles President, Mr. James Michel, welcomed participants coming from all four corners of the world to the “Carnaval International de Victoria,” as he launched the carnival celebrations last week.
“Our city welcomes you warmly – Victoria, city of peace and sharing; Victoria, city of generosity and human warmth; harmony and unity as a people of diverse origins. It showcases our nation as a true melting pot of cultures and a truly unique place. Thank you for your presence and your participation. The ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ is the window on some aspect of our culture and heritage, which we [would] like to share with you.”
President Michel spoke of the opportunities and benefits of the first carnival of its kind to be held in Seychelles, which took place from March 4-6.
“The ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ provides us with this excellent opportunity to show to the world not only what we are, but also what we have to offer as a tourism destination: the natural warmth and heartfelt welcome of a people who still live close to their roots, the social stability and concord we enjoy, and the spontaneity and irrepressible joie de vivre of our island-style way of life. It is what distinguishes us from others as a tourism destination.”
The President spoke of his vision for the tourism industry since he took over the portfolio for tourism last year and accomplishments of the new direction.
“The ‘Seychelles brand’ is vision-ed to diversify our tourism products so that our people can reap more benefits from the industry. We are indeed reaping more benefits from this industry. The ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ is the perfect encapsulation of The ‘Seychelles brand.’ It is a bridge between civilizations and cultures. It is a reflection of our social cohesion, our customs and values, our harmony and unity as a people of diverse origins.”
When addressing the Seychellois people specifically, President Michel spoke of Seychelles’ “most valued treasure” as an aspect of national identity, which is unique to Seychelles.
“We may be small as a country, but we have accomplished a lot, and we will achieve more through what is of utmost importance to Seychelles: our national unity – our country’s greatest asset … our carnival is bringing the world to Seychelles and vice versa. ‘The world is a global village’ is entirely signified by the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ taking place today,” said President Michel.
In his appeal to ensure the success of the three-day event, President Michel called on the Seychellois people to keep up its culture of good Creole hospitality, which will reflect this year’s national theme, “Winning For Seychelles.”
The President thanked and congratulated the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St.Ange, and to all his staff at the Tourism Board, as well as all the stakeholders in the industry: the hoteliers, the airlines, the waiters and waitresses, the chambermaids, the taxi drivers, the providers of services, etc., for their work in the preparation for the carnival.