Rodrigues confirms it will take part in 2014 carnival


Minister St Ange and top officials from his ministry in a souvenir photograph with the delegation from Rodrigues

The Rodrigues delegation comprised the island's tourism commissioner Jean Richard Payenbee and renown artist Cledino Edward.
They were in Seychelles at the invitation of the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St Ange, following the visit of Serge Clair, the chief commissioner of Rodrigues island, during the Festival Kreol in October last year.

The two-man delegation paid a courtesy visit to Minister St Ange and discussed many points of cooperation.

Minister St Ange emphasised at the start of the meeting that it remained his duty, as president of Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional organisation, to ensure that the island of Rodrigues features on the list of invited guests for the Carnaval International de Victoria, as this is an event for the Vanilla group of islands.

Mr Payenbee expressed his satisfaction and gratitude towards the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) for hosting them.

“The carnival was really something out of this world,” he said.

“When we decided to come we did not really know what to expect. We thought it was just another one of this parade we had seen before. But we got more than we bargained for and we cannot wait to get back home to tell the others about our extraordinary experience,” added Mr Payenbee.

They said they have taken a series of photographs and will set up an exhibition on the Carnival of Carnivals as soon as they get back home.

Mr Payenbee expressed his disappointment for not having been able to bring a group from his island to take part in this year’s carnival, but gave his commitment that Rodrigues Island will definitely be present for the fourth Carnaval International de Victoria next year.
Minister St Ange used the meeting as an opportunity to talk about the objectives, and of the benefits to be gained by the different countries who take part in the carnival staged annually in Seychelles.

"Many countries attend tourism trade fairs and many use these opportunities to specifically seek increased visibility for their country through their unique selling points. Many of us address press conferences at these tourism trade fairs and we all know that getting press support is difficult and numbers attending small press conferences are often small.

“One of the main benefits of participating in the annual Carnaval International de Victoria is the chance to gain maximum publicity and increased visibility. Seychelles ensures that there are always approximately 80 different press and media houses from all over the world covering the annual carnival event. So, what a better place to be seen showcasing your country's culture, people and unique selling points," Minister St Ange told the delegation from Rodrigues.

Among other issues discussed are Seychelles giving training to Rodriguais students involved in the tourism trade. In return, Rodrigues is considering helping Seychelles’ arts and crafts entrepreneurs in localised-style packaging and presenting their finished artisanal products – an area where Rodrigues is known to have really evolved and excelled.

Minister St Ange also stressed on the necessity to ensure that Rodrigues takes part in all future meetings of the Vanilla Island in its own right as a fully fledged member island. During the meeting, the two delegations also talked about Seychelles’ involvement in the Festival Kreol organised by the Rodrigues Island. A fact-finding mission team headed by Minister St Ange will also fly to Rodrigues before the end of the year.

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