“The islands of the Indian Ocean have a safety label, and it is important for us to keep working together as the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands to protect it, as our tourism industries expects no less from us.” The Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange said this while answering a series of questions from Mauritian journalists recently during his four-day visit to the neighboring island.
Minister St.Ange was speaking to Linley Appadoo, a journalist from the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, and Patrice Donzelot of Le Defi Media group on the second day of his visit to the island state.
He spoke about the aim of his visit to Mauritius, the Vanilla Islands Organization’s position in the world of tourism, and the work being done to promote the tourism industries of the Indian Ocean region.
Minister St.Ange also added that Air Mauritius will be welcomed back to the islands’ skies if ever it decides to fly back to Seychelles.
The aim of the four-day visit was to hold talks with the Deputy Prime Minister, Xavier-Luc Duval, who is also the Minister for Tourism, as well as for a Vanilla Islands meeting with Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the organization, to discuss the cooperation and way forward for the destinations within the organization.
“Our message is clear. Our islands are not in competition with each other, but we support one another. If we work together, we can surely achieve a lot for our islands. Instead of working to attract tourists to only one destination, we market the region as one, and we each get a fair share, thus the attributes of one island becomes those of the region,” said the Seychelles Minister.
Minister St.Ange also spoke about the development of cruise tourism which was one of the main points discussed during his meeting with Mr. Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius.
In regards to the air connectivity between the islands, Minister St.Ange said there is a need to work so as to increase it.
“When tourists travel to the other tourism regions such as the Caribbean, they say they are going to the Caribbean islands, but when they travel to the Indian Ocean, travelers tend to say they are going to Mauritius or Seychelles or any other island.
“So we need to work together to put our region in the forefront and to market the Vanilla Islands as one region,” the Minister concluded.