SEYCHELLES ELECTED TO CHAIR VANILLA ISLAND COOPERATION
Seychelles tourism minister Alain St. Anges tireless efforts in past years, and more so over the past few months when at least one member of the Indian Ocean island cooperation, misguided by one individual it should be stressed, wanted to ditch the partnership and break away, were rewarded by his colleagues from Le Reunion, Mayotte, Comoros, Madagascar and Mauritius, when they placed their faith and trust in him as the first elected leader of the Vanilla Islands marketing cooperation, to be headquartered in Victoria / Seychelles. Vice Chair is Mauritius with Le Reunion seconding the Secretary General while Mayotte will hold the position of Treasurer. It is understood from a reliable source in Victoria that though the ministers from Mayotte, Madagascar and the Comoros were not present in person they had been consulted and extended their support for the new structure and set up of the Vanilla Islands organization. All posts are held for the duration of one year and will then rotate amongst member islands.
The constant lobbying for increased partnership in the face of temporary adversity has earned St. Ange the applause from his colleagues in the respective tourism portfolios from the member islands and his successful effort to have the European Union support the concept with logistical and material support only added to his standing amongst his colleagues. Starting with this years World Travel Market in London it is expected that the Indian Ocean islands will have trade stands at key global tourism events in one adjoining area, promoting the concept of increased inter island travel by tourists while highlighting and promoting such region-wide events like the Mauritius Shopping Extravaganza Fiesta, the annual International Tourism Trade Fair on Madagascar or for instance the Carnival International de Victoria, so that all members of the Vanilla Island cooperation can be equally showcasing their signature events and get support from all the other members. Congratulations are in order for Alain St. Ange but also to his colleagues who have now joined hands to work in partnership rather than isolation. Watch this space.