Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism & Culture and Minister Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, the Maldives Minister for Tourism, Arts & Culture discussed the Indian Ocean as a Tourism Region in its own right during meetings at World Travel Market in London this week.
These discussions follow on the back of the announcement that the Maldives will showcase the best of the Indian Ocean tourism industry when it plays host to the World Travel Awards Indian Ocean gala ceremony in April 2013.
Playing host to this major event, which will attract the leading lights of the travel and tourism industry, will be an ideal opportunity for the Maldives to showcase its brand new regional Koodoo Airport which has just opened its doors in the Gaafu Alif - close to male.
Click below to view the Breaking Travel News interview with the Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, the Maldives Minister for Tourism, Arts & Culture during World Travel Market.
On the 40th Anniversary of tourism to the Maldives, the new airport is expected to dramatically open up the southern atolls, one of the most remote corners of the Indian Ocean.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, one of the Gaafu Alifu Atoll’s most glamorous new additions, will be one of the very first to benefit from the new airport.
In addition, nine new properties are expected to open up in the Maldives coming months.
At the last Ministerial Meeting of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation it was resolved that the Maldives should be invited to become a full member of this tourism body.
This decision was followed by a letter from Minister Alain St.Ange, the President of the Organisation addressed to Minister Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor of the Maldives and the meeting between the two Ministers in London was to finalise discussions on this issue.
The Comoros, La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Seychelles and Rodrigues of Mauritius, Praslin of the Seychelles, Nosy Bay of Madagascar and La Digue of the Seychelles are all today part of the Vanilla Islands and with the appointment in the coming days of a CEO and a Director of Marketing for the Organisation it will help to change gears in the visibility campaign of this Regional Grouping.
The Seychelles Minister told the press after his discussions with his Maldivian counterpart that Maldives had accepted to be a full member of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation.
“We are now expecting to receive the official acceptance in writing, and then we are ready to go with Maldives as our new member. As a tourism region we cannot expect to say we are an Indian Ocean Tourism Regional Organisation if we do not rally the other known and reputed players of our region and make them part of our grouping. The time has come to unify our region, and the time has come for us as a block to be sincere with our desire of be united as a tourism region” the Seychelles Minister said.