The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, who was in Madagascar for the island’s annual tourism gathering, said in his address as the guest of honor for the Official Opening Ceremony of the International Tourism Fair Madagascar, that it is important for the six islands of the Vanilla Islands Group to remain united.
“On behalf of President James Michel, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, the current President of the Indian Ocean Commission, the message is to you Minister Jean Max Rakotomamanjy, and to the exhibitors and friends of the tourism industry, I simply say all the very best with the 2012 edition of the International Tourism Fair Madagascar 2012.
“Madagascar, along with Seychelles, La Reunion, Mauritius, Mayotte, and Comores, launched the Vanilla Islands grouping, because we all saw merit in unifying ourselves to get our region more visible and known. Today, Madagascar is promoting a Tourism Fair for our region, and I stand here as a display of our support for the unity of our islands and for their effort in staging an event that can and that will bring visibility to our region, to the Vanilla Islands. Seychelles is also doing the same through the annual Carnaval International de Victoria, which was co-hosted this year with La Reunion, again in that same spirit of togetherness, to get our region more known. We need all our islands to find a theme on which to stage a regional event, which we can all support. We cannot be an island onto ourselves. We need each other, our region needs all of us, and the Vanilla Islands depends on unity of its six islands. It is with this frame of mind, or mindset change needed in some cases, that we will overcome the difficulties we are having to contend with because of the economic woes in our traditional main tourist markets,” Minister Alain St.Ange said in Madagascar.
“The policy of working in isolation and safeguarding only your little patch is no longer sustainable as a policy. The world is moving fast, and as a region, we need to be on board, and we must ensure that we do not miss the boat. I am in Madagascar because we, in Seychelles, we believe that we need to show support for Madagascar in their endeavor to create a Tourism Fair for Magagascar, but also a tourism fair for the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands,” the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture said in the presence of the Madagascar Minister for Tourism, Mr. Jean Max Rakotomamonjy; Mrs. Elia Ravelomanantsoa, the Madagascar Minister for Culture.; Dr. Johanita Ndahimananjara, Madagascar Minister for Health; Mrs. Lantotiana Rakotomavo, Vice President for Maadagascar Superior Council for Transition; Eric Koller. the President of the Office National du Tourisme de Madagascar, and Vola Raveloson, the Director General of his Office; Frederic Pierret, the Executive Director of the WTO; among many national dignitaries and members of the diplomatic mission.