Seychelles and African Union Run for Top World Tourism Job as Oman Air Flies to Nairobi

By Abdi Ali
Published March 17, 2017

Zimbabwe's Walter Mzembi endorsed by SADC and AU to seek the post Secretary-General of UNWTO.The Indian Ocean tourism island of Seychelles appears to have  defied the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) both of which it is a member by fielding its own independent candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) that falls vacant in May 2017.

By endorsing Alain St. Ange, its own national to run against Walter Mzembi of Zimbabwe who is reported to have been endorsed by the 15-member SADC and 54-member AU, Seychelles has broken ranks with Africa in a move that could see Africa–the only continent that is yet to hold the post since the inception of UNWTO in 1975–lose the post. Or shall Seychelles repeat the fete of another Indian Ocean island, Madagascar, and SADC that fielded their own candidate for the post of President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and their candidate–Ahmad Ahmad–beat the incumbent Issa Hayatou in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on March 16, 2017?

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Seychelles has broken rank with SADC and AU and endorsed Alain St Ange for UNWTO job.Unless either St Ange or Mzembi enjoys enormous support outside Africa, it is a tough fight for Africa as it attempts to beat five other candidates from outside the continent.

Seven candidates from Africa, South America, Asia and Europe are in the race for the period 2018-2021. They are Walter Mzembi (Zimbabwe), Alain St. Ange (Seychelles), Young-shim Dho (South Korea), Zurab Pololikashvili (Georgia), Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente (Colombia), Márcio Favilla (Brazil) and Vahan Martirosyan (Armenia) had handed in their papers to the Secretariat of UNWTO.

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Brazil's Marcio Favilla De Paula, who already works for UNWTO, is a favourite to win UNWTO SG's job.To run, one has to hand in Letter of the Candidate, Curriculum Vitae, Statement of Policy and Management Intent and a Certificate of Good Health signed by a recognized medical facility alongside Letter of Support from the Government of the country endorsing the candidate.

Seven other applicants were disqualified for not handing in all the required documents.

Meanwhile Oman Air, the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, is set to launch Muscat-Nairobi flights in 10 days from today.

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Operating a Boeing B737-800NG, Oman Air says it will fly from Muscat to Nairobi four times a week from March 27, 2017.

South Korea's Dho Young-Shim could have advantage, being the only female in the race for UNWTO S-G's job.Departure from Muscat shall be 14;50 hours and arrival in Nairobi 18:55 hours, both local time on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Return flights are scheduled for 00:45 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, landing in Muscat at 06:50 hours.

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Oman Air shuscat to Nairobi four times a week from March 27, 2017Already, the airline has a 4-night and 5-day Flying package to Muscat that goes for US$1370.00 per person that covers:

  • Return flights from Nairobi to Oman on Emirates or Qatar airlines
  • Meet and assist upon arrival
  • Return airport Transfers
  • 4 nights’ accommodation
  • Daily Breakfast

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Colombia's Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente, too, is in the race for UNWTO's Secretary-General'sjob.

  • Muscat Half day City Tour
  • Sunset Boat Cruise Tour
  • 2 hours Dolphin watching Tour
  • Travel Insurance

The package, however, does not cover:

  • Visa and visa fees
  • Lunch and Dinner, and
  • Drinks