Could the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands become the bridge between Africa and the Pacific and Asia region?
Tourism ministers, alongside professionals from the industry from Asia and the Pacific region, have for the last couple of days been meeting through their PATA organization on the US island of Guam. It was Mario Hardy, the Chief Executive Officer, and Andrew Jones, the newly-elected Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), who steered the tourism meeting as they rallied their member states and organizations to work to consolidate their respective tourism destinations and organizations.
PATA remains the body that showcases public/private sector partnership where government and the private sector sit together to not only analyze the industry’s shortcomings, but also explore new ideas and possibilities.
At the PATA 2016 Summit in Guam, it was Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles, who had been invited to deliver the keynote address and to also be a participate at two panel discussions. Seychelles, a Member State of the African Union (AU), sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean and forms part of the Vanilla Islands, SADC, and the East3Route, and the presence of the islands’ Minister, Hon. St.Ange, at this latest PATA Summit opened the way for discussions to explore the possibility for the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands to become part of PATA and become the bridge between Africa and the Pacific and Asia region.
At different meetings held between Mario Hardy, the Chief Executive Officer; Andrew Jones, the newly-elected Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles, a decision was taken for the islands’ minister to follow-up on this proposal with his Vanilla Islands colleagues. Mario Hardy, as the CEO of PATA, will be writing to Hon. Xavier Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, the current President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Island through Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Regional Body, to formally invite the Vanilla Islands to become a member organization as per the discussions held in Guam.
“The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands are today made up of Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte, and the Maldives, and all our islands have as a tourism target market the Asia region. The consideration by our regional organization to become part of PATA will open new doors and opportunities for our islands and help grow further our tourism cake,” said Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, as the PATA 2016 Guam Summit came to a close of Sunday.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) . For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.