The 2012 carnival of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands that is staged in Seychelles annually by Seychelles and La Reunion, moved into gear this week with an official countdown that took place at the International Conference Center (ICCS) in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles.
In the presence of the French Ambassador, Mr. Philippe Delacroix ; the Chairman of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mr. Barry Faure; members of the tourism trade and of the Seychelles business community; and Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board said that the countdown to the 2012 carnival was but a teaser to what was coming to Seychelles on March 2-4.
Addressing the countdown Alain St.Ange said: “On the 2nd to the 4th of March, Seychelles and La Reunion will stage an event that will bring visibility to our islands.”
“It is important to say that the “Carnaval International de Victoria” 2012 is not just funded by the Tourism Board. Most of the cash needed comes from sponsorship deals and some of the important players in the Seychelles economy. Those committed to the consolidation of the country’s tourism industry, have joined with us to ensure Seychelles has this celebration.
“On March 2, when the Seychelles and La Reunion carnival will be declared open, and when Seychelles will witness the opening ceremony of this carnival, the world will be following the start of this unique event, known as the “carnival of carnivals,” because for the first time, three radio stations will be broadcasting live from Seychelles for the three days of the carnival. They will be from Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa.
“Seychelles will be hosting for these three days the largest contingent of press ever, landing at the same time on our shores. Yes, it is now confirmed that over 50 press from all over the world will be in Seychelles to cover the carnival 2012. When we say 50 press, it means 50 magazines, newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations. All together, we shall have 78 individual press personality and their technicians here.
“Why are we doing all this trouble? one could ask.
“The question is simple, and everyone involved in the tourism industry, everyone who understands the tourism industry, will appreciate that so many press will mean a blitz on and about Seychelles & La Reunion in the four corners of the world.
“The Tourism Boards of Seychelles and La Reunion are mandated to promote Seychelles and La Reunion as tourism destinations, and in increasing the visibility of our islands, we are doing just that, promoting Seychelles and promoting La Reunion.
“And this we are doing through our culture, through our people, and through our joie de vive.
“The opening ceremony will be beautifully choreographed with a show in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. It will have artists from different parts of the world perform alongside our very own Seychellois artists and artists coming from La Reunion.
“At this opening ceremony, Mr. Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary General, who is flying to Seychelles for this carnival, will present to [Seychelles] President James Michel and President Didier Robert of La Reunion, the Tourism Leadership Document. This in itself will be unique, as it will be the first time that two heads of governments receive the document at the same time.
“Both political leaders of the two islands are this year joint organizers of the 2012 Carnival. La Reunion accepted to join in with us in a show of solidarity and of regional cooperation.
“We can say that this year we have taken note of comments and suggestions aired after the 2011 event. Music and show will be at the opening ceremony and afterwards in Victoria, and this well into the night.
“The Saturday carnival procession is the climax of a vast organizational effort, which began mid-March last year, as soon as the 2011 carnival had closed. Marymonde Matatiken and her team worked with foreign partners to get overseas carnival delegations here, but also with sponsors, without whom we could never stage such an event, and one on this magnitude here in Seychelles.
“This is why today, on behalf of the Tourism Board, we want to say a BIG thank you to all those helping us make this event the event our country needs and deserves.
“Here, we need to acknowledge that Emirates is this year the partner airline and flying the biggest number of our press to Seychelles.
“Kempinski Hotel has volunteered to accommodate the press when they get to Seychelles - two big chunks of expenses taken care of by two companies. As we say thank you to Emirates and to Kempinski , we need to acknowledge that they are not alone, and here, we want to use today to launch our the countdown for the carnival 2012 to appeal to everyone.
“It is a carnival that Seychelles and that La Reunion, and the people of our two islands are staging for the world, for the Community of Nations. Let us rally behind this event, the event set to remain the biggest annual celebration of our region, and the event that will keep Seychelles and La Reunion visible in all our tourist markets all over the world.
“Let us rally members of the business community, help by decorating Victoria, the heart of our carnival. Decorate your shops and buildings, bring about the party spirit.
“PUC, help us. Here, we appeal to Mr. Philip Morin, the new CEO. Help make Victoria come alive. We will bring the entertainment, you make us see the light. Let us see the Office of the Mayor of Victoria move to show the best façade of Victoria to all the world.”
The Seychelles Tourism Board then announced the list of confirmed delegations coming from the four corners of the world and also of navy ships making the stop in Seychelles as a show of solidarity in the continued fight against piracy.
Marie France MacGregor launched the 2012 Carnival Lottery and the new Carnival Song entitled “Sa Karnaval,” sung by Jean Marc Volcy, with the support of known artists Jany De Letourdie, Brian Matombe, Antoinette Dodin, and Michelle Marengo, was launched through a live performance by all the five artists and supported by the island’s reputed choreographed dancers.
Angelica, the young and upcoming artist also sung her new song entitled “Carnival Party,” which she presented as a gift to the Seychelles Tourism Board before the very popular group of young artists Chicco, Michael, Sandra, Dean, Ruben, and Martin presented their very own popular carnival song.