Seychelles nomination as the first President of Vanilla Island organization has generated interest in the Mauritius Press News on Sunday and made a sensational news angle.
The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, a strong supporter of the setting up and the success of the Vanilla Island concept, was unanimously elected recently as President of the organization during a meeting held in Seychelles on July 7.
His nomination, a media gold mine, has been reported by regional media and sparked a series of one-on-one interviews.
The interview question-and-answer format published in Mauritius news on Sunday has nevertheless provided to its readers a valuable insight into the organization and a glimpse of Minister St.Ange’s reactions at being the first President of the Vanilla Island organization.
Minister St.Ange has used the catchy word “honor” to describe this position of leading a “fully-fledged organization,” adding with a brilliant opening salvo that the Vanilla Islands is “a plus for the region” and that only a “strong region can strengthen the Indian Ocean islands tourism industry.”
In a few straightforward and frequently-asked questions, Minister St.Ange has spoken about Seychelles’ success in hosting the Routes Africa forum from July 8-10, 2012, and in an open question on the challenges of Seychelles tourism after the temporarily cessation of long-haul air traffic, he has stressed the need for Seychelles to “keep on being innovative and proactive in its strategic planning exercises” and to “work in close collaboration with destinations and partners who, like Seychelles, are innovative in their approaches.”
If Seychelles’ hailing of 100,000th visitor on its soil has made hard news in the media, The News on Sunday has run this story on a different angle, exploring the possibility that it could be a sign that the Seychelles tourism industry is taking a vertical mobility.
Adding flesh to the bones, Minister St.Ange said: “Tourism is a very fickle industry, and although we are encouraged by current visitor arrival numbers, because it vindicates our strategies, we must nonetheless double our efforts to ensure that momentum is maintained.”
On the issue of the Indian Ocean islands setting up a regional marketing company for their respective tourism, Minister St.Ange said that this “proposal can be, and should be, achieved through the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands concept,” stating that the Indian Ocean region “has everything to make our respective tourism industries a success, but togetherness needs to be felt and not just spoken.”
Commenting on a hot topic in the region: the Mauritius Indian Ocean annual event Shopping Fiesta and Flic en Flac carnival, Minister St.Ange has outsmarted his interviewee by saying that he has “personally represented Seychelles at the official opening of the Shopping Fiesta as a sign of solidarity for the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands calendar of events” and that he is not in a position to comment on the Flic en Flac carnival, which he did not attend.