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Reunion Island breaks tourist arrivals record

Written by Alain St.Ange

Despite a difficult end to the year, 2018 was profitable and even historic for Reunion tourism as more than 574,000 outside visitors were welcomed . This is 4.1% more than in fiscal 2017, which had already had an unprecedented inflow of visitors.

In 2018, 35 ships and 39,433 cruise passengers landed on the island, which was satisfactory, although slightly lower as several companies were forced to review their routes in November and December.

Nevertheless, with revenues still increasing and amounting to more than 432 million euros, also a new record for the destination, the tourism sector confirms its preponderant place in the economy of Reunion.

Reunion’s neighbors in the Indian Ocean remain fond of the destination. Arrivals from the Indian Ocean area remains above 60,000 tourists in 2018, after a spectacular increase of 46% recorded in 2017. Within this Indian Ocean zone, Mauritius remains the main source market since it represents more than 30,000 tourists, or 5.8% of total arrivals to Reunion.

The communication and promotion actions carried out on the main European markets, other than France, have also been fruitful, as this visitor source market now accounts for 7.4% of total arrivals, compared to 6% in 2017. In total, 39,664 visitors came from the rest of Europe in 2018 which is 4.2% more than last year!

Unsurprisingly, the leisure clientele represents an overwhelming majority of arriving visitors with 90.8% of the overall volume of arrivals on the island, supplemented by 8.5% of business tourism.

The average length of stay of these foreign tourists is 17 days and remains unchanged compared to 2017, a figure particularly important for a long-haul destination such as Reunion.

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About the author

Alain St.Ange

Alain St Ange has been working in the tourism business since 2009. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel.

He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. After one year of

After one year of service, he was promoted to the position of CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

In 2012 the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional Organization was formed and St Ange was appointed as the first president of the organization.

In a 2012 cabinet re-shuffle, St Ange was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Culture which he resigned on 28 December 2016 in order to pursue a candidacy as Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation.

At the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu in China, a person who was being sought after for the “Speakers Circuit” for tourism and sustainable development was Alain St.Ange.

St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who left office in December last year to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. When his candidature or document of endorsement was withdrawn by his country just a day before the elections in Madrid, Alain St.Ange showed his greatness as a speaker when he addressed the UNWTO gathering with grace, passion, and style.

His moving speech was recorded as the one on the best marking speeches at this UN international body.

African countries often remember his Uganda address for the East Africa Tourism Platform when he was a guest of honor.

As former Tourism Minister, St.Ange was a regular and popular speaker and was often seen addressing forums and conferences on behalf of his country. His ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ was always seen as a rare ability. He often said he speaks from the heart.

In Seychelles he is remembered for a marking address at the official opening of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria when he reiterated the words of John Lennon famous song… ” you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. One day you will all join us and the world will be better as one”. The world press contingent gathered in Seychelles on the day ran with the words by St.Ange which made headlines everywhere.

St.Ange delivered the keynote address for the “Tourism & Business Conference in Canada”

Seychelles is a good example for sustainable tourism. This is therefore not surprising to see Alain St.Ange being sought after as a speaker on the international circuit.

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