The islands of the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Mayotte, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion and Seychelles) joined together many years ago to form a new Tourism Block named the Vanilla Islands. Today they are seen in Tour Operator programs as a region to themselves and the islands have seen remarkable successes in holiday combinations of two or three islands at a time and a major success story in cruise ship business now cruising the Indian Ocean Region.
Alain St.Ange, as the Seychelles Tourism Minister was the first President of this regional grouping and was re-elected for a second mandate as he worked for unity in the Indian Ocean Islands .Last year it was Xavier Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius who was at the head of the Regional Body having succeeded the Minister from Madagascar and Reunion. Today the Comoros are at the head of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands. Mrs Sitti Attoumane, the President of the Vanilla Islands and Head of the Comoros Tourism wrote to Alain St.Ange on behalf of the Regional Tourism Organization to endorse his candidature as Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
This endorsement is timely for on Monday St.Ange is due to travel to Madrid in Spain to present his official documents as a candidate to Dr Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO. This is set to be done on the side lines of FITUR 2017, the tourism trade fair of Spain.
Mrs Sitti Attoumane of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands wrote saying: “The social, economic and cultural development of a region is essential for the well being of the population. If this progression can be effected whilst respecting the environment then it is a success. It is with this vision that you guided not only the archipel of the Seychelles, but also the Indian Ocean region for many years. As you participated in the creation of the Vanilla Islands, the grouping of the Indian Ocean Islands, you showed in the belief of a shared prosperity and also the spirit of cooperation inclusive of sharing your successes. This is the reason that the Vanilla Islands Organization regrouping the islands of the Union of the Comoros, Reunion, Mayotte Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar are coming forward to extend their support for you as a candidate for the position of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. With both the francophones and anglophone cultures at your fingertip, we are persuaded that the world of tourism will find in you a competent and motivated partner at the service of tourism”
Alain St.Ange said that he was grateful with the letter of endorsement for his bid to before the SG of the UNWTO. “The Indian Ocean islands are strong tourism players with tourism industries remaining important for their economies. Their support is indeed appreciated” said Alain St.Ange.