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Tourism for all endorses UNWTO candidate

Tourism for all endorses UNWTO candidate

Even though they don’t vote, the involvement of the physically handicapped are an important group, and in France, they just threw their support behind Alain St.Ange for the election of a new Secretary General for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

A lot has been said about discrimination in the world of tourism for a long time, but hearing Gilbert Lamory, the Vice President responsible for Development for GIHP (Groupement pour l’insertion des personnes Handicapees Physiques) of France speak, the press present agreed it was clear that a lot could still be done to respect those who are physically handicapped.

Gilbert Lamory met with Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles candidate for the post of Secretary General for UNWTO, who was on a working visit to Europe this week to meet the press and government officials for the UN election for its World Tourism Organization set for May 11 in Madrid, Spain.

This was an opportunity for Gilbert Lamory on behalf of the GIHP to present Alain St.Ange with a letter of endorsement, and also copies of the GIHP’s worldwide coordinated call for support for St.Ange.

Mr. Lamory, who has been for a number of years the advisor and instructor at the Federation National des Offices du Tourisme et Syndicats d’Initiative to push forward the plight of the handicapped, spoke with emotion to the press present at the presentation of the GIHP letter of endorsement to St.Ange. “There is still a lot to do in many countries for the handicapped persons to travel freely” he said, before adding that in 2017 the handicapped population of the world had the opportunity to help get someone elected to the post of Secretary General of the UNWTO who was particularly concerned over the concept of tourism for all. “In effect, the election of the new Secretary General of the UNWTO that will be taking place in May will have amongst the candidates, Alain St.Ange, who is clearly concerned by the facilities available for those falling in the grouping of handicapped travelers,” Gilbert Lamory said.

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles candidate for the post of SG of the UNWTO, said that the “Tourism of All” concept is overdue. “In this day and age, we must all work together for everyone, immaterial of his or her physical disability, but at the same time immaterial of the color of his or her skin; of their race; of their religious belief, political affiliation, or sexual preferences, to be respected firstly and welcomed with open arms as they travel the world as tourists,” Alain St.Ange said.

“We should not discriminate among people on the basis of differences in their skin color, of their race, of their religion, of their politics and sexual preferences,” said St.Ange as he explained his strategies for helping the disabled traveler. “As Secretary General, I will raise the cause of tourism for all as a must for a UN body. My strategies to help not only the disabled traveler, but also to help the person with a disability find work in the tourism industry, are clear. We all know that travel produces long-term health benefits with leisure opportunities relieving stress. We also know finding employment for people with disabilities is a must as we grow up and respect people… simple,” said St.Ange.

The GIHP Grouping presented Alain St.Ange with copies of letters written to political figures, past and present, and to other influential personalities to lobby for St.Ange to be elected as SG of the UNWTO.

“In Seychelles, we respect the people with a disability, we have moved to realize that their strength is their difference, and we prefer to refer to them as the handi-abled as we open doors for everyone. Today in some parts of the world, the state of tolerance being seen is at its lowest with rhetoric based on discrimination of color, race, religion, politics, and sexual preference. There is hate, there is poison. Together we can work with the press for a new departure to sideline those who need help to accept that tourism and the world of tourism is for all,” said Alain St.Ange before adding that everybody counts and everybody has dignity.