REUNION TOURISM HITS THE MARKETING TRAIL
(Posted 06th December 2013)
Vanilla Island Organization founder member Reunion is pulling out all stops these days to widen their reach and open up new markets for tourist visitors to the French Indian Ocean island.
The latest initiative focused on the Swiss market, from where 7 travel agents were brought to the island by Indalo Tours of Switzerland in conjunction with their local DMC Papangue Tours and Reunion Tourism for an educational tour of the island, allowing the travel agents to sample Reunion’s wide range of cultural and natural attractions.
IRT, short for Ile de La Reunion Tourisme, or the Reunion Tourism Office, has of late began to roll out a new marketing plan which aims to expand the island’s source markets and to reduce over reliance on the French domestic market which however remains at the centre of promotional activities.
New markets within the European Union have been as much targeted as for instance South Africa, where the island was even able to put a Visa waiver programme into place, notwithstanding that Reunion is part of France and hence the European Union. A similar Visa waiver programme is being prepared for China, another new market the island is courting to add visitor numbers in support of the vital tourism industry.
News were also received well by Reunion when Air Seychelles announced a few days ago that the Seychelles’ national airline will commence flights next year to Reunion’s Roland Garros International Airport in the capital of St. Denis, reciprocating the announcement by Air Austral that they too will launch flights to Mahe in early 2014.
Connectivity among the so called Vanilla Islands is thought to be crucial to improve the flow of visitors wanting to ‘island hop’ and see more than just one island, while cruise tourism, a potential gold mine for the various island’s tourism sectors, has also been targeted. The Vanilla Island Organization is reportedly in talks with major global cruise lines to establish dedicated itineraries for cruise ships to call on several of the islands during the course of an Indian Ocean cruise, a move masterminded by Seychelles Tourism but very closely supported by Reunion Tourism.
(The 7 Swiss travel agents enjoying one of the fab beaches on La Reunion)
For more information about Reunion visit www.reunion.fr where a complete overview of the island’s tourism attractions as well as hotels and resorts are available. Air Austral, Reunion’s home airline, flies 12 times a week between Paris CDG and St. Denis and information on the schedules and additional destinations are available via www.air-austral.com