Vanilla islands’ progress showcased at tourism fair in Tana


Seychelles’ stand in Tana

Mr St Ange was re-elected president of the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands group during a recent meeting.

Speaking before 400 invited guests, including ministers, top officials from Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Comoros, Seychelles and Mayotte, as well as ambassadors and tour operators, Mr St Ange pointed out the challenges ahead, notably air access and the need for tenacity among members.

The regional trade fair, this year held at the Carlton Hotel, is now earmarked as an annual Vanilla islands event and constitutes a platform to showcase the tourism assets of all six island members.

They will next year be joined by a new member, the Maldives, one of the most up and coming destinations in the region.

He noted that the tourism industry is fragile and complex and that the rewards of hard work and determination are also visible after many years, citing the example of double-digit tourism growth for three consecutive years, while visitor arrivals in many other destinations have stagnated.

Mr St Ange underlined the need for the island destinations to work together and support each other to promote all events and activities held in the zone.

Malagasy Tourism Minister Jean-Max Rakotomamomjy said his country needs to better understand the tourism industry. He stressed that his government needs to provide the private sector with the right enabling environment to allow it to flourish and take its rightful place within the Madagascar economy.

Among other prominent guests attending the tourism fair in Tana were the President du Conseil   Régional de la Réunion Didier Robert and the president of the Office National du Tourisme de Madagascar Eric Koller.

The fair also welcomed some 27 tour operators from France, UK, Germany and Russia who all visited the stands and got better acquainted with the Vanilla islands.