Vanilla Islands’ progress highlighted at International Tourism Fair by STB
The progress of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands was highlighted at the International Tourism Fair held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, from May 30 to June 1, by the organisation’s President, Alain St Ange.
Minister Alain St. Ange (center) and STB Marketing Executives for Indian Ocean Ms Valerie Payet & Ms Christina Cecile
Mr St Ange, the Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism and Culture, has been re-elected for a second term at the head of the Vanilla Islands grouping.
Speaking before 400 invited guests at the trade fair, including ministers and top officials from the grouping's member states; Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Comoros and Mayotte, as well as ambassadors and tour operators, Mr St Ange pointed out the challenges ahead, notably air access and the need for tenacity among members.
The regional trade fair is now earmarked as an annual Vanilla Islands event and constitutes a showcase for the tourism assets of all six-island members. Maldives, one of the most upcoming destinations in the region, will also join the grouping next year.
Malagasy Minister Jean-Max Rakotomamomjy on his part said the country needs to better understand the tourism industry and that the Government needs to provide the private sector with the right enabling environment to allow it to flourish and take its rightful place within the Madagascar economy.
Among other prominent guests attending the tourism fair in Antananarivo were the President of the Conseil Regional de la Reunion, Didier Robert and the President of the National Tourism Office of Madagascar, Eric Koller. The Seychelles Tourism Board was represented at the fair by its two Marketing Executives for the Indian Ocean Market, Valerie Payet and Christina Cecile.
The fair also welcomed some 27 tour operators from France, UK, Germany and Russia who all visited the stands and became better acquainted with the ‘Vanilla Islands’.