Seychelles and Maldives discuss tourism in the Indian Ocean by STB
Minister St. Ange and Minister Gafoor during their meeting at WTM 2012
The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St Ange, and Minister Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, the Maldives Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, used their time at the WTM tourism trade fair in London to meet and discuss the Indian Ocean as a tourism region in its own right.
Minister St Ange is also the sitting President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation and the discussions in London with the Maldivian minister came just days ahead of the next Vanilla Islands Ministers Summit in Reunion.
At the last ministerial meeting of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation it was resolved that the Maldives should be invited to become a full member of this tourism body.
This decision was followed by a letter from Minister St Ange to Minister Gafoor and the meeting between the two ministers in London was to finalise discussions on this issue.
The Comoros, Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Seychelles and Rodrigues of Mauritius are all today part of the Vanilla Islands and with the appointment in the coming days of a chief executive and a director of marketing for the organization, it will help to change gears in the visibility campaign of this regional grouping.
The Seychelles minister told the press after his discussions with his Maldivian counterpart that Maldives had accepted to be a full member of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation.
“We are now expecting to receive the official acceptance in writing, and then we are ready to go with Maldives as our new member. As a tourism region we cannot expect to say we are an Indian Ocean Tourism Regional Organisation if we do not rally the other known and reputed players of our region and make them part of our grouping. The time has come to unify our region, and the time has come for us as a block to be sincere with our desire to be united as a tourism region,” Minister St Ange said.