The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands meeting held at St. Gilles in La Reunion on August 22-23 is set to consolidate and move the regional grouping forward. The meeting, which was presided over by Minister Alain St.Ange from the Seychelles who is the current President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, was attended by participants from five of the six islands that make up the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.
The high-level delegates included Mr. Didier Robert, President Region Reunion from La Reunion; Minister Alain St.Ange, Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture from Seychelles; and Minister Michael Sik Yuen, the Minister responsible for Tourism from Mauritius.
The President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, Mr. Alain St.Ange, has made it a point to thank President Didier Robert of La Reunion and Pascal Viroleau of the IRT (La Reunion Tourisme) for hosting that meeting and for acting as Secretariat for this General Meeting of the island grouping, which was the forum where many key decisions were tabled and adopted.
The full list of participants at the La Reunion Meeting of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands are:
1. Robert DESVAUX – Président, MTPA (Mauritius)
2. Michael SIK YUEN – Ministre du Tourism (Mauritius)
2. Karl MOOTOOSSAMY – Directeur, MTPA (Mauritius)
3. Alain ST.ANGE – Ministre du Tourisme (Seychelles)
4. Michel AHAMED – Directeur du comité départemental du tourisme (Mayotte)
5. Atoumani HAROUNA – Vice Président du comité départemental du tourisme (Mayotte)
6. Pascal VIROLEAU – Directeur, IRT (La Reunion)
7. Volanirina Natalia RAVELOSON – Directrice Office national Malgache du Tourism (Madagascar)
8. Salim SAID – Conseil Général de Mayotte (Mayotte)
9. Alihamidi ANAIS - Conseil Général de Mayotte (Mayotte)
10. Jacqueline FARREYROL – Présidente, IRT (La Reunion)
11. Thierry DEVIMEUX- SGAR (La Reunion)
12. Didier ROBERT – Président, Région Réunion (La Reunion)
The following resolutions were adopted among others:
- The meeting approved the initial budget for the organization, which was set at Euro 800,000, out of which Euro 300,000 will be dedicated for marketing.
- The immediate advertising in each Member State will be for the recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer and of a Director of Marketing for a formal announcement to be made at Top Resa in Paris this coming September.
- The meeting approved that the Head Office of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands will be in La Reunion.
- The meeting agreed that necessary works to have an Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Newsletter should be started immediately
- The need to revamp the organization’s website and to program links with that of each Member State.
- The meeting approved that marketing and sales works will continue to consolidate the core markets of Europe and that all efforts will be made to open China as a new market for the region.
- The meeting approved the request by Hon. Serge Claire of Mauritius to have the island of Rodrigues accepted as a member of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.
- The meeting approved that the island of Nosy Bay of Madagascar be also admitted a member of the organization.
- The meeting approved that the islands of Praslin and La Digue be both admitted as members of the organization.
- The meeting approved to invite the Republic of Maldives to join the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Grouping.
- The meeting adopted that four events be listed as those of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands namely: the February/March Carnaval International de Victoria in Seychelles, the June Tourism Fair in Madagascar, the July Shopping Fiesta in Mauritius, and the December Liberte Metisse Day in La Reunion.
Delegates from the islands represented have all echoed sentiments of positiveness after this La Reunion meeting.