Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture returned home on Friday night after attending the Indian Ocean’s Vanilla Islands Ministerial meeting that took place at Westin Resort at Balaclava in Mauritius and said that it was a total success.

This Ministerial meeting firstly saw Mauritius taking over the Presidency of the Regional Organisation from Madagascar. This was followed by Mr Xavier Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius and now the new President of the Vanilla Islands setting the agenda for the period of his Presidency. The points discussed which included working to increase cruise ship business in the region, hotel classification, the events calendar for the Vanilla Islands and the uniting of forces at Tourism Trade Fairs starting with the September Top Resa Tourism Fair in France.

The Mauritius Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Duval managed during this Ministerial Meeting to pave the way forward and he emphasised the spirit of togetherness for the islands of the Indian Ocean. Mr Duval confirmed that a Golf Tournament based a bit on the ‘Ryder Cup’ would become the annual event for Mauritius that should now appear on the Vanilla Islands calendar of events alongside the Carnaval International de Victoria of the Seychelles, the International Tourism Fair of Madagascar, the Culinary and Arts Fiesta of the Comoros and the Festival Liberte Metisse of Reunion Island.

“Our region’s suite of events is diverse and should help keep our region on the tourism map in different niche markets. The decision to now mandate Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Organisation to now move to produce a brochure to promote these events is another positive step forward” said Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles.

“Five of the seven islands were present for the Ministerial meeting and the commitment for working together was clearly communicated by one and all at this Ministerial Meeting that took place in Mauritius. I have assured Mr Xavier Luc Duval of my total support during his Presidency of the Vanilla Islands and I have reiterated to everyone that in unity we are strong because no island can any longer be an island unto itself” Minister St.Ange said.

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