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Reunion and Seychelles strengthen cooperation as Didier Robert and Alain St.Ange meet at Grand Bassin

Reunion and Seychelles strengthen cooperation as Didier Robert and Alain St.Ange meet at Grand Bassin (Forimmediaterelease.net) Didier Robert, the President of the Regional Council of Reunion Island, hosted Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, for a working lunch at Grand Bassin on the second day of the visit on Reunion Island by the Seychelles Minister. Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands, was also present for this working lunch in one of Reunion Island's most spectacular settings possible.

“I have opted to invite you to Grand Bassin so that you can appreciate something new in the long list of unique selling points of Reunion Island,” said President Didier Robert when they arrived at Grand Bassin in between the spectacular ravines of the island. As they sat on the river's edge eating a Reunion Island Creole lunch, Didier Robert and Alain St.Ange discussed future avenues for consolidating the existing cooperation between Reunion Island and the Seychelles.

Didier Robert, who holds the tourism portfolio for Reunion Island, and Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, discussed action plans in order to increase cruise ship business in the Indian Ocean. Both are expected to meet the Costa Cruises Vice President on April 24 when the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands ministers will gather in Seychelles to take a closer look at their operation in the Indian Ocean. The invitation to the Costa Cruises Vice President was issued by Minister Alain St.Ange when he was at the ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin in early March in the presence of Pascal Viroleau, the CEO of the Indian Oceans Vanilla Islands. It is expected that the development of cruise ship business will be a main topic of discussion at this coming Vanilla Islands ministerial meeting where Mr. Xavier-Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, and the Madagascar Tourism Minister have already confirmed their participation.

A second point discussed at the Grand Bassin lunch was the development of small hotels, and both Didier Robert and Alain St.Ange agreed that they will meet the group of Seychelles small Seychellois-owned hotels called the “Seychelles Secrets,” and representatives of the Small Hotels Association of Reunion when President Didier Robert will be in Seychelles during the end of April.

“Both Didier Robert and myself want to see cruise ship business not only grow, but for them to spend more time in our ports. This is the same discussion I had with the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius when we met at the ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin. This is the way forward for increasing yield from cruise ship business for our respective islands," Minister St.Ange said.

On the meeting with the small “home grown” hotels branded as “Seychelles Secrets" in Seychelles, the island's minister said that tourism in Seychelles is being consolidated through the involvement of its people. This is a government commitment aimed at ensuring that the Seychellois benefit directly from their tourism industry. The planned meeting will help to develop a strategy by the two islands to showcase jointly the smaller properties where the respective Creole culture and ambience is so real, the Seychelles Minister said.

PHOTO: President Didier Robert (L) and Minister Alain St.Ange (R) at Grand Bassin on Reunion Island

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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