LONDON, United Kingdom – A meeting which could herald significant tourism-based links between two of the world’s prominent island groupings, took place on November 5, 2013 at London’s World Travel Market.
The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Organization (VIO) President, Seychelles Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St.Ange, who was accompanied by Derek Savy, the VIO’s Director of Marketing, met with Mrs. Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, in the company of the CTO’s Director of Marketing UK and Europe, Mrs. Carol Hay, to discuss strategic collaboration between the two island groupings.
The Caribbean and Indian Ocean island tourism organizations agreed to cooperate and exchange know-how to further the common goals and objectives of enhancing the international promotion of the two island groupings.
The two groups agreed to cooperate on global issues and to jointly promote islands as a destination of choice for tourists.
The newly-created Vanilla Islands Organization will draw from the extensive experience and wealth of knowledge on key tourism-related issues of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, including marketing, air connectivity, and product development.
Both organizations agreed to join other island states in September 2014 at the 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Samoa.
In Apia, a formal meeting would be sought under the aegis of the UN World Tourism Organization to formally launch the new cooperation to representatives of more 180 countries expected at the global islands conference. Tourism is one of the priority areas slated for discussion at the SIDS conference and partnership is another.
The new “entente cordiale” between the two organizations is expected to generate a rich exchange of experience, information, and experts between the island regions in the months prior to the SIDS conference.