The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Alain St.Ange, has held a meeting with members of the Ports Association of the Indian Ocean Islands (APIOI).
The association grouping representatives from Madagascar, Seychelles, Mayotte, Mauritius, and Reunion were in Seychelles for their Annual General Meeting.
Members of the Association have voiced the need for Port Authorities within the Indian Ocean Islands to work together to better tap into the cruise liner industry.
Addressing this issue, Mr. Shekur Suntah, the Director General of the Mauritius Ports Authority, said that cruise shipping is becoming an increasingly global industry, and over the years, it had evolved into a new potential niche market in the Indian Ocean region. Mr Suntah from Mauritius said that the Port Authorities of the Indian Ocean should work on common ground to explore ways to tap into the potential tourism cruising sectors.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism & Culture, told members of the Ports Association of the Indian Ocean Islands that together, tourism boards and authorities of all islands of the Indian Ocean Group must work with their Port Authority as they do with their Civil Aviation Authorities. “We need to see not the triangular norm approach for the consolidation of tourism, that is the Tourism Authorities, the Airlines, and the Civil Aviation Authorities, but we are islands and need to rope in and work with Port Authorities as well. We need ports for our cruise ship business, but also, we need ports for the guaranteed supplies that our respective island’s tourism industries and our population are so dependent on,” Seychelles Minister St.Ange said.
Members of the Ports Association of the Indian Ocean Islands and the Seychelles Minister St.Ange agreed Port Authorities need to be involved in the marketing of the Indian Ocean Islands as tourism destinations. They also agreed in principle to their participation as a Tourism Association in the Creole Festival to be held in Seychelles on October 26-30, 2012.
A Creole Village will be erected in Victoria, the Creole capital of the world, to showcase the Creole-speaking nation and the cultures of the people of these nations.
The Ports Association has accepted the proposal of the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture to use this festival as a platform to show the synergies that exist between Port Authorities of the Indian Ocean Islands and the tourism industry.
The Seychelles Minister Alain St.Ange has thanked the members of the association for making time for that meeting and has given his commitment and that of his ministry, which holds the tourism portfolio, to work closely with the Port Authorities in the region to help to further develop the tourism industry.
“In Seychelles, we are already enjoying a good working relationship with the Port Authority. Mr. Andre Ciseau, the CEO of the Seychelles Ports Authority, knows that he can count on my ministry as he can on the Tourism Board. This approach needs to become the norm for our region,” Minister Alain St.Ange from the Seychelles said.