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Mauritius journalist writes that Victoria of the Seychelles is the cultural crossroads of the world

Mauritius journalist writes that Victoria of the Seychelles is the cultural crossroads of the world ( Jean Clement Cangy, a highly-respected journalist of Mauritius who publishes many reports for Le Mauricien of the island, writes this week that Mr. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture and President of the Vanilla Islands is winning the bet he has been making year after year to make the Carnaval International de Victoria the “Carnival of Carnivals” bigger and for it to become the cultural crossroads of the world.

It has been confirmed that there will be some twenty international delegations participating in the fourth edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria at the end of April 2014, including some of the more popular ones, such as the Carnaval of Sao Paulo Brazil, the one from Notting Hill, the Carnaval of Dusseldorf, and the carnival from Indonesia. Last year the Mauritius delegation won the second prize of the carnival, and the Seychelles has not lost hope that they will once more this year see the participation of Mauritius. The twenty or so delegations coming from different corners of the world are all in Seychelles ready to showcase their very own culture and their people. The delegation from O Carnaval de Sao Paulo is made up of some twenty artists, dancers of samba, and drummers.

“This carnival remains unique in many ways. The best and most popular carnivals of the world come together in Seychelles, and they all parade side by side followed by cultural troupes from the Community of Nations. Today the Carnaval International de Victoria is known by the international media houses as the `carnival of carnivals` because of the togetherness by all carnivals coming together once a year for this event in Seychelles,” said Alain St.Ange, the Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles. He added: “Many tourism destinations also use this carnival for promoting their own tourism industry. It is like a tourism trade fair, but here it is the country`s culture, and in so doing it is the people of the respective countries who are being put forward instead of brochures and cocktails. It is today accepted that participating countries at the carnival in the Seychelles have more access to international press than they can ever have at any tourism trade fair.”

This fourth edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria has as co-host apart from the Seychelles, La Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte, and South Africa KwaZulu Natal, and it is an event that appears on the Vanilla Islands calendar of events. The Kreol Magazine that is published in London and that spells out the ever-increasing dynamism of the spirit of Creolite across the world, speaks about the concept of the Vanilla Islands in its last edition. “The Vanilla Islands is a massive marketing concept dreamed up by Alain St.Ange and ministers from La Reunion, Mauritius, Madagascar, and other smaller Indian Ocean island nations to jointly promote the various attractions the region has to offer to tourists from around the globe. The project is just two years old, but is already gaining the necessary traction for success,” reports the Kreol Magazine, where Mrs. Georgina Dhillon is its Director.

Last Tuesday in the Mauritius Parliament, Minister Sik-Yuen made the following declaration: “As I have said before, the project is being developed. That said, the Vanilla Islands project did not have funds to finance this unit. It is only last December that the Vanilla Islands received funds from the Fonds de Developpement Economique Regional (FEDER) and from the La Reunion Region to the level of 500,000 euros. … The `Iles Vanille` concept has afforded an opportunity to market the destination as part of twin and multi-destination packages to tourists on the look-out for such products. Moreover, inter-island tourism will help to develop the cruise segment from Mauritius. Mr. Deputy Speaker, sir, there is no doubt that benefits will be reaped under the `Iles Vanille` concept in the time to come.”

PHOTO: Jean Clement Cangy


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