The Vanilla islands – a bridge between Asia / Pacific and Africa


(Posted 23rd May 2016)

Tourism Ministers alongside professionals from the industry from Asia and the Pacific Region have for the last couple of days been meeting through their PATA Organisation in the U.S. Island of Guam. It was Mario Hardy, the Chief Executive Officer and Andrew Jones the newly elected Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) who steered the tourism meeting as they rallied their member states and organisations to work to consolidate their respective tourism destinations and organisations.

PATA remains the body that showcases public / private sector partnership where Government and the private sector sit together to not only analyse the industry’s shortcomings, but also explore new ideas and possibilities.

At the PATA 2016 Summit in Guam it was Minister Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles who had been invited to deliver the key note address and to also be a participate at two panel discussions. Seychelles, a Member State of the African Union (AU). sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean and forms part of the Vanilla Islands, SADC and the East3Route and the presence of the island’s Minister St.Ange at this latest PATA Summit opened the way for discussions to explore the possibility for the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands to become part of PATA and become the bridge between Africa and the Pacific & Asia Region.

At different meetings held between Mario Hardy, the Chief Executive Officer and Andrew Jones the newly elected Chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles a decision was taken for the island’s Minister to follow up on this proposal with his Vanilla Islands Colleague. Mario Hardy as the CEO of PATA will be writing to Hon Xavier Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, the current President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Island through Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Regional Body to formally invite the Vanilla Islands to become a Member Organisation as per the discussions held in Guam.

The Indian Ocean Vanilla Island are today made up of Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte and the Maldives and all our islands have as a tourism target market the Asia Region. The consideration by our regional organisation to become part of PATA will open new doors and opportunities for our islands and help grow further our tourism cake‘ said Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture as the PATA 2016 Guam Summit came to a close of Sunday.

Meanwhile has Mauritius continued efforts to become a stopover of choice for airlines from the Asia / Pacific region enroute to Africa, to provide a link function between the two global regions and make it easy for tourists to sample the best the African Indian Ocean islands have to offer before proceeding on to the continent for the more traditional safari vacations.