‘The carnival symbolises our way of life’


03-March-2012

Minister Meriton making his speechThis was said by Designated Minister Vincent Merion when he was officially launching the second Carnaval International de Victoria yesterday evening in the heart of Victoria.

Present at the opening of the event, which this year is being co-hosted by Seychelles and La Reunion, were President James Michel and Vice-President Danny Faure. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation secretary general Taleb Rifai and président du Conseil Régional de L’ile de La Réunion Didier Robert et le directeur du tourisme de La Réunion Pascal Viroleau were among the foreign dignitaries.

The ceremony was also attended by Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, government ministers, Seychelles Tourism Board’s chief executive Alain St Ange, as well as other high government officials.

Mr Meriton said it is encouraging to see the carnival steadily growing in stature.
“The strong message of international goodwill that it carries is making its way across the globe.
“This is evidenced by the increased international participation in this year’s event and by the largest contingent of the world press ever to visit our shores,” he added.

He said “while we cannot compete with the sheer size and extravagance of the Rio Carnival, the Carnaval International de Victoria is one that transcends nationality and culture”.

But, he said, through this event Seychelles shows that man can live together in peace and harmony.
“We are the living example of a people that has embraced its diversity as the unique character that unites us as a Seychelles.”

Mr Meriton took the opportunity to thank everyone associated with organising the carnival, especially the Seychelles Tourism Board.

Mr St Ange said the carnival is three days of fun for those taking part in this unique event, for all the delegations across the world.

He added that last year “we were one when we launched the first carnival but this year it is heartening to see that we are co-hosting it with one of our sister islands, La Reunion”.

A partial view of guests and crowd (top) at the opening ceremony

“It is my firm wish that next year we will have more partners from the region joining us in hosting the event.
“Both Seychelles and La Reunion are tourism destinations and we will together bring forward this industry,” he added.
Mr St Ange also thanked La Reunion for its cooperation to co-host this year’s carnival.
He said he hopes the event “belongs to our region”.

Mr Robert said the carnival is a mixture of colours, music and culture.

He commended President Michel for establishing good relations with other countries in the region and congratulated Mr St Ange and his team for the good work in organising the event.

Mr Robert added that both Seychelles and La Reunion have many tourist attractions and “we need to preserve and share our islands with the rest of the world”.

Mr Rifai said his organisation’s presence here shows its support to the carnival.
“The event brings the world together in one single place,” he added.

He congratulated President Michel for his excellent work in tourism and for promoting sustainability and tourism in Seychelles.

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