The Hon. Michael Sik Yuen, Minister of Tourism & Leisure of Mauritius, and Alain St.Ange, the newly-appointed Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles, met briefly in Berlin where they were both leading respective delegations to the 2012 ITB Tourism Trade Fair.
Both Ministers will be participating at the RETOSA Ministerial Meeting (the Southern Africa Tourism Body), which will be held later this month in Mauritius, and the Berlin meeting was more to catch up and agree on a one-to-one meeting in Mauritius at the time of the RETOSA Ministerial meeting.
Mauritius and Seychelles are both part of the Vanilla Islands concept alongside La Reunion, Madagascar, Comoros, and Mayotte. Seychelles has been working to bring the Vanilla Islands concept more in the limelight by inviting the Indian Ocean Islands to become co-hosts of the Carnaval International de Victoria, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival, but for the 2012 edition, it was only Seychelles and La Reunion who agreed to work together. Madagascar nevertheless sent an impressive delegation to represent their island, and Mauritius was represented by virtually but a radio personality duo. The involvement of Mauritius for the 2013 edition was tabled and more discussions are expected to take place in Mauritius on the sideline of the RETOSA Ministerial Meeting. It is expected that La Reunion will also be present as observers.