Maldives and Seychelles discuss the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organization

Maldives Promotion House – Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor, the Maldives Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture and Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture used their time at the World Travel Market (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 Organization, and the discussions in London with the Minister from Maldives comes just days ahead of the next Vanilla Islands Ministers Summit on La Reunion island.

At the last Ministerial Meeting of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organization, 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 organization, addressed to Minister Ahmed Adeeb Abdul Gafoor of the Maldives, and the meeting between the two Ministers in London was to finalize discussions on this issue.

The Comoros, La Reunion, 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 organization, 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 Organization. “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 Organization 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 to be united as a tourism region,” the Seychelles Minister said.

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