The April Ministerial Meeting of the Vanilla Islands took place yesterday under the Chairmanship of Alain St.Ange, the sitting President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles. Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Vanilla Islands and Derek Savy, the Organization’s Director of Marketing were also present at the meeting attended by Virginie K’Bidi, the Vice President of La Reunion, Attoumani Harouna, the Vice President of the Tourism Committee of Mayotte, Eric Koller, the Chairman of the Madagascar Tourism Office, Robin Ramessur, the Destination Management Executive for Mauritius, R. M. Franchette Gaspard Pierre Louis , the Deputy Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues, Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board and Ariane Loupy, the Managing Director of the La Reunion Tourism Board.
The main point of this April Ministerial Meeting was to decide on the way forward to seek a consensus on who would be the next President of the Vanilla Islands as the mandate of Alain St.Ange had come to an end. Two islands had already nominated their Minister in the case of Mauritius and President of the Regional Council in the case of La Reunion as candidates for the position. During the meeting Madagascar formally introduced the candidature of the island”s Minister to also be a candidate for the position of President of the Vanilla Islands. It was resolve at the meeting that a consensus needed to be reached before the May Ministerial Meeting in Madagascar as it was expected that the new President is expected to be addressing the Tourism Trade Fair of Madagascar, an event falling on the Calendar of Events of the Vanilla Islands.
During the discussions Minister Alain St.Ange suggested that the representatives of the islands present at the meeting to impress on their Ministers and the President of the Region that the position’s responsibility is that the elected person represents the organization and not their CEO or PS, and that time would need to be allocated for work of the Vanilla Islands.
The Ministerial Meeting of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands also heard from the CEO of the Organisation on the activities of the past year and on his proposed plan of action for the coming year. The proposals received the approbation of all the islands at the meeting.
The question of funding was also discussed and Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles wanted to place on record his appreciation of La Reunion making available necessary funds to pay for the running costs of the organization.