The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands today comprises the islands of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion, and the Seychelles.
The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands has as its mission to contribute to the development of tourism in the Indian Ocean region, with a special effort in this current year to grow cruise ship business. This mission was revisited in the Region’s Ministerial Meeting held last week in St. Denis on Reunion Island under the chairmanship of Hon. Xavier-Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, and current President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.
Also attending this Ministerial Meeting was Didier Robert, the Regional President and Senator of Reunion Island (France); Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles; Mme. Sitti Attoumane, the Secretary of State for Tourism and l’Artisanat of the Comoros; Mme. Marie-Annick Dahy, the Director General of the Tourism Administration of Madagascar; Attoumani Harouna, the Vice President of Mayotte Tourism; Jean Maigrot, the Senior Advisor to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius; Arnaud Martin, Chairperson of the Mauritius Tourism Promotional Authority (MTPA); Joel Randriamandranto, the President of the Administration Council for the National Tourism Office of Madagascar; Daniele Le Normand, the Vice Chairman of the Regional Tourism Board of Reunion Island and also Regional Vice President of Reunion Island (France) with responsibility for Economic Development of Businesses; Fouzia Vitry, elected representative of Reunion Island (France); Willy Etheve, the Managing Director of the Reunion Island Tourism Board; Bernadette Honore, the Seychelles representative of their Tourism Board Reunion Island Office; and Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Vanilla Islands.
After discussions on the financial report of the organization and adopting the accounts, and after Pascal Viroleau briefed the meeting on the organization’s budget for the coming year, an analysis on the work and successes of the Vanilla Islands followed, and representatives of member states appreciated the confirmed growth of over 100% in cruise ship business which grew from 14,094 passengers in 2014/2015 to 29,059 for the season 2015/2016. Member States were also briefed on the signed agreements now in place with Costa Cruises. The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands are also working closely with Silversea Cruises as well as Fred Olsen Cruises for the 2017 season. Confirmed figures for Reunion Island Tourism also showed that the twin of three island holiday packages was today working for the benefit of the island with 25% of all its visitor arrivals being part of a two-island holiday package.
Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said that he was happy to see the six Indian Ocean Islands at this last St. Denis Ministerial Meeting. “We are working together for our region, and we know that today our work is paying dividends for our people. Nothing happens by itself, and decisions reached at this last Ministerial Meeting on the plan of action will see for the first time the togetherness approach in marketing to help open new tourism source markets. This will be to capture visibility for our region through actions by a strong Ministerial delegation, leading workshops and promotional missions,” said Minister St.Ange before adding that in his meeting with Willy Etheve, the Managing Director of the Reunion Tourism Board, and subsequent discussions with Didier Robert, the Regional President and Senator of Reunion Island (France); Stephane Fouassin, the President of Reunion Tourism; and Catherine Dostes, the Technical Advisor to the President at the Reunion Island Tourism Board, he left Reunion Island knowing that the spirit of cooperation between the islands’ tourism industry is stronger than ever before.
For more information, visit vanilla-islands.org
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For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.