By Seychelles Tourism Board
Published December 20, 2011
Seychelles and La Reunion have signed a pact to see them jointly become co-organisers of the one and only carnival of the Indian Ocean region. The two island neighbours complement each other as tourism destinations for twin-centre options. They are both part of the Vanilla Islands group alongside Mauritius, Madagascar, Mayotte, and Comoros and both believe in unity in the region in order to consolidate tourism and inter-island business opportunities.
Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, and Jacqueline Farreyrol, the Chairperson of the La Reunion Tourism (IRT), signed the historic agreement in the presence of Didier Robert, the President of the La Reunion Region, and Minister Joel Morgan, the Seychelles Minister for Internal Affairs, Environment, and Transport.
The Vanilla Islands Annual Carnival is now regarded as being firmly on the list of successful carnivals and appears on every list of important carnivals alongside that in Brazil; at Notting Hill in the UK; that in Trinidad & Tobago; in Nice, France; and in Venice, Italy. The carnival will go a long way in raising the visibility of the Vanilla Islands and of the Indian Ocean as a tourism region in its own right.
Seychelles and the island of La Reunion both have their respective head of governments holding the tourism portfolio in their respective islands. President James Michel of the Seychelles took over the portfolio of tourism when he wanted to bring through his vision for the Seychelles tourism industry. President James Michel moved to empower Seychellois to claim back their industry by being themselves involved in the industry referred to as being the pillar of the Seychelles economy. The Seychelles President launched what he called the “Seychelles Brand” of tourism for the tourism paradise islands.
Didier Robert, President of the La Reunion region, on his part took over the tourism portfolio after his election as President of the region. He has been a strong advocate of openness and for the region islands to be working more together. Both leaders have brought success for their respective island’s tourism industry.
Alain St.Ange said at the signing ceremony of the Seychelles’ Reunion Carnival Hosting Agreement that the “Carnaval International de Victoria” will continue to be staged as the “Melting Pot of Cultures.”
“We know that this carnival is today unique, which is why it is referred to as the carnival of carnivals. It remains the only carnival where the best and the most-known carnivals of the world will parade side by side, and also alongside cultural groups from the Community of Nations. Our region has an event we can all be proud of,” Alain St.Ange said.
The next edition of the Vanilla Islands Annual Carnival will be held in Seychelles, March 2-4, 2012 with the two islands, Seychelles and La Reunion, jointly as co-hosts. It is already confirmed by the Organising Secretariat that a bank of more than 50 press, radio, and TV stations are descending on Seychelles and also on to La Reunion for that spectacular event.