Mayotte has assumed the rotating presidency of the Vanilla Islands, taking over from the Comoros that was leading the organisation for the past year.
The President of the Departmental Council of Mayotte, Mr. Soibahadine Ibrahim Ramadani, was handed over the mandate to lead the regional grouping on February 8, 2018.
This was during a ceremony held at the Departmental Council of Mayotte and facilitated by the Chief Executive Officer of the Vanilla Islands, Mr Pascal Viroleau.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the six member states of the Vanilla Islands -- Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte and the Comoros.
Seychelles was represented by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs. Anne Lafortune, who was invited to make a presentation on the vision of the organisation.
Mrs Lafortune highlighted Seychelles’ vision for the region and the association, which is centred on developing the tourism industry of all six member islands in a sustainable and responsible manner.
“We would like to push on product diversification, focusing on cultural events and eco-tourism products and designing responsible tourism packages instead of focusing only on responsible accommodations,” said Mrs Lafortune.
She also emphasised the importance of developing and improving port infrastructures in order to continue to benefit from the cruise ship segment and the development of regional connectivity between our islands.
Mayotte is the last among the six member states to assume the presidency of the Vanilla Islands organisation, and took the opportunity at the handing over ceremony to showcase the different events and activities on offer on the island.
The Vanilla Islands was created in August 2010 to promote and market tourism in the Indian Ocean under a common brand.
Seychelles was first to head the organization serving two consecutive mandates in 2012 and 2013.
Seychelles will be assuming the presidency of the regional grouping once again in 2019.