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Reunion Island - a year in review

Reunion Island - a year in review ( Many personalities and VIPs traveled to Reunion Island in 2015. Among those that country officials had the pleasure of welcoming during their stay in the tropics was Amaury Lavernhe alias Moz, champion of bodyboarding and Honorary Ambassador of Reunion Island. Having won the title of champion of the France World Championship in 2014 for overall in the global trade round, along with two individual medals including one gold in drop-knee and silver in Open Men, two medals as captain of the France team, one gold in team relay, and a silver in the team standings at the end of the world championships (ISA Games 2014), Amaury Lavernhe continued to expand his list of already rich accomplishments by getting the award for best surfer in 2014 by the French Federation. In 2015, it is a well-deserved rest that awaited him on his native island where he came to relax with family.

As has happened every year, the triathlon champion, David Hauss, visited Reunion Island in 2015. The Honorary Tourism Ambassador of Reunion Island took advantage of his stay to recharge his batteries on the island. For one who is seeking qualification at the upcoming Rio Olympics in 2016, his stay also allowed him to train under the sun.

Journalist and Honorary Tourism Ambassador of Reunion Island, Sophie Gastrin, made the move into the Indian Ocean to unveil her first cookbook on Reunion Island cuisine. His book, “Island of Reunion Kitchen" (Eyrolles), appeared in bookstores in February 2015. Inputs, dishes, desserts, side dishes - a total of 25 menus - are cooked by personalities of Reunion Island, including 50 recipes of starters and main courses, side dishes, and 7 desserts that make the taste buds of gourmets and gourmands sparkle. The richly illustrated collection is accompanied by a complete list of outlets of where to source products from Reunion Island, in all major metropolitan cities.

The Canadian singer, Roch Voisine, was on Reunion Island for a unique concert on Friday, April 10, 2015. The world tour of Roch&Folk made a stopover in the Indian Ocean region, to the delight of fans waiting to see him perform on Reunion Island since 25 years ago. Beyond his concert, the Canadians made the most of their stay in the island and walked away with suitcases full of tasty memories of sharp Bourbon coffee, Bourbon vanilla, cane sugar, and a book of Creole recipes.

A true legend of Indian music, Lakshminarayanan Shenkar, alias L. Shenkar, was on Reunion Island in April 2015, as part of the 8th Night of Virtuosos. A violinist and exceptional vocalist, he performed a series of concerts in unusual settings across Reunion Island.

Babette Rozières needs no special introduction. Shooting on the island for the magazine, “The Little Dishes of Babette," the queen of Creole cuisine was able to discover, beyond the typical products and culinary specialties, natural and cultural heritage of the island, without forgetting the local population just as mixed as gastronomy.

Chef Gregory Cuilleron also flew to Reunion Island in 2015 for the second season of “La Tournee des Popotes.” During new encounters with local specialties, he was introduced to Reunion Island cuisine, local products, and recipes that are hallmarks of the cuisine of the island's popular rougail sausages, lychees and sunny pineapples, local herbal teas, turmeric with beneficial properties, or even the unusual live larvae called zendettes.

They are young, they are funny, and failing to wear a mustache, they appear on all their videos. This is, of course, Golden Moustache, or at least four members of the group of comedians who show their video clips and sketches on a YouTube channel. In 2015, Julien Josselin, Valentin Vincent, and Adrien Menielle Flober left their Parisian apartments and flew to Reunion Island in order to turn a real piece of fiction in the natural settings of the island. “Tresor de la Buse” is a production with the Gentiles, villains, twists, (very) special effects action, derision, and emotion - in a word, almost, a blockbuster on the global web. A real buzz for Reunion Island, this hit clip generated more than one million views.

Singer Julien Doré visited Reunion Island for the Sakifo Musik Festival this year. With his musicians, he unplugged his hits “Heaven" and “Paris-Seychelles" on the beach of Grand Anse.

Jonny Joburg is a South African rapper, and on the occasion of his concert at the Sakifo Musik Festival, he took the opportunity to shoot a session in the narrow lanes of the market of St. Peter.

The South African group Mi Casa also visited Reunion Island for the Sakifo Musik Festival. Like Julien Doré and Johnny Joburg, they recorded an acoustic sequence in their song “La Vida" in front of a Banyan tree.

Cauet, the comedian, DJ, producer - in short the Swiss knife of PAF - was on Reunion Island for a double show: the end of his tour with his one-man show “Cauet on Stage" and as a DJ. Cauet visited Reunion Island to thank his fans who sent him many messages. Based on the west coast, he was able to enjoy the seaside resort of Saint-Gilles and had the opportunity to discover the island from the sky in a helicopter before returning to mainland France.

For its 400th issue, Archipelagos magazine had planned a series of reports devoted to Reunion Island. For the presenter, Akhoun Elyas, a native of the island and Honorary Tourism Ambassador of Reunion Island, the choice of destination did not happen by chance. In 2015, he was shooting sequences on the island for 6 special issues in Reunion Island.

The first time Ceet touched ground on Reunion Island was ten years ago. This world-famous street artist is a pioneer in the arena of graffiti and has imposed his talent and his signature chicken on the international stage. For him to come Reunion Island was a breath of fresh air. Ceet, who visited the island twice in 2015, also advised artists from around the world to discover Reunion Island, like him.

Mary Pierce, the last French winner of a French Open title at Roland Garros, was on the island of Reunion in May 2015. The former champion visited for the first edition of the WTA Internationaux de La Réunion for which she was the Patron.

Maxime Dereymez, Denitsa Ikonomova, Katrina Patchett - all artists of the troupe of Pendanse which introduces personalities through the program “Dancing with the Stars" - took part in the tenth edition of the Vita Dance Festival 2015. Alongside these renowned figureheads, comedian Rayane Bensetti, also known for his duo with Denitsa Ikonomova at Dancing with the Stars 5, had made the trip. Beyond the event, the company was able to enjoy the pleasures of the beach and the Reunion Island lagoon and ascend into the air during a paragliding baptism.

Teddy Riner, the French judo legend and record holder of individual world titles in the men’s category, spent a week in Reunion Island in 2015, alternating between discovering the island and bringing awareness of the discipline to the public of Reunion Island. On this occasion, the judoka also received the honorary title of Tourism Ambassador of Reunion Island.

Yannick Jauzion has a most impressive sporting portfolio. Sponsor of the second edition of Golfers Rugbymen Trophy Reunion, the former international rugby star with 75 selections to the national team was awarded the honorary degree of Tourism Ambassador of Reunion Island in October 2015.

The French athlete, Renaud Lavillenie, was on Reunion Island at the end of November 2015. For the seventh consecutive year, the Honorary Tourism Ambassador of Reunion Island came to train with the France pole vault team under the sun of the southern hemisphere. Athletes have also performed a special show jumping on the Boucan Canot beach with a demonstration of their discipline.

MEDIA CONTACT: Evelyne Coustillat, Reunion Island Tourism, Phone: +262 (0)262 90 83 69, Fax: +262 (0)262 21 00 21, PRESS RELEASE

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