Mauritius ‘Shopping Fiesta’ not competing with ‘Seychelles Carnival’


Mr Desvaux (centre) talking to the press on Saturday

Speaking at a press conference at the Ephelia Resort on Saturday, he said each island of the Iles Vanilles is organising its own event, aimed at attracting the maximum visitors.

He noted that while Seychelles has since 2011 been organising its international carnival, Mauritius has decided to go for a ‘Shopping Fiesta’, offering substantial discounts on brand goods. This will start at the airport duty-free and extend to the shopping malls.

The inauguration of the largest such mall, Bagatelle, will coincide with the fiesta’s opening on June 29.

Mr Desvaux however acknowledged that the absence of a delegation from Mauritius at the Victoria carnival could have led to the misunderstanding that it was in a way seeking to compete with Seychelles by organising its own fiesta. 

“At the time, we did not consider it a priority to attend, but we probably shall do so next year,” he said.

Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St Ange said there have been in-depth discussions with Mr Desvaux and Pascal Viroleau of the Reunion Comité de Tourisme on the concept of Les Iles Vanilles.

He said it has been agreed that tourism marketing efforts should be harmonised and Les Iles Vanilles should be projected as a destination in itself, in much the same way as the Caribbean is publicised.

He said a budget will be submitted to the European Union for funding. Les Iles Vanilles is to have its own secretary-general and a rotating presidency. It will operate in parallel with the Indian Ocean Commission.

At the ‘Routes Africa’ meeting to be held in July in Victoria, it is envisaged that a day will be put aside to discuss the concept Iles Vanilles further.

The Mauritius ‘Shopping Fiesta’ also coincides with the bicentenary of the Champs de Mars, the second largest racecourse in the southern hemisphere. 

There will be a regatta in the southern village of Mahebourg, as well as a carnival at Flic-en-Flac, a seaside resort on the west coast.

Other activities include fashion shows, sega shows, demonstration by artisans, among others.
Shoppers will have the added bonus of free raffle tickets and the possibility of winning some fabulous prizes, including one BMW car.

Mauritius is one of the world’s top garment producers, exporting to Europe and the USA. But discounts will extend to footwear, jewelry, electronics, ship models and paintings.