Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism & Culture and Minister Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, the Maldives Minister for Tourism, Arts & Culture used their time at the WTM Tourism Trade Fair in London to meet and discuss the Indian Ocean as a Tourism Region in its own right.
The Seychelles Minister St.Ange is also the sitting President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation and the discussions in London with the Minister from Maldives comes just days ahead of the next Vanilla Islands Ministers Summit in La Re Island.
At the last Ministerial Meeting of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation it was resolved that the Maldives should be invited to become a full member of this tourism body. This decision was followed by a letter from Minister Alain St.Ange, the President of the Organisation addressed to Minister Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor of the Maldives and the meeting between the two Ministers in London was to finalise discussions on this issue.
The Comoros, La Re, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Seychelles and Rodrigues of Mauritius, Praslin of the Seychelles, Nosy Bay of Madagascar and La Digue of the Seychelles are all today part of the Vanilla Islands and with the appointment in the coming days of a CEO and a Director of Marketing for the Organisation it will help to change gears in the visibility campaign of this Regional Grouping.
The Seychelles Minister told the press after his discussions with his Maldivian counterpart that Maldives had accepted to be a full member of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organisation. “We are now expecting to receive the official acceptance in writing, and then we are ready to go with Maldives as our new member. As a tourism region we cannot expect to say we are an Indian Ocean Tourism Regional Organisation if we do not rally the other known and reputed players of our region and make them part of our grouping. The time has come to unify our region, and the time has come for us as a block to be sincere with our desire of be united as a tourism region” the Seychelles Minister said.