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Seychelles Carnival on April 11 supported by Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands

Seychelles Carnival on April 11 supported by Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands ( The line of approach behind the Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria is today believed by many in the Community of Nations, the approach of showcasing one's culture and people in making tourism destinations more visible and in ensuring that destinations remain relevant in the world of tourism. “In so doing we are all saying that we are not ashamed of our culture, and that we respect our people enough to place them at the center of our development," St.Ange of the Seychelles says.

The 6th Edition of the Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria will be held from April 22-24, and this cultural event falls in the calendar of events of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands. Every year each island of the Indian Ocean stages a cultural event that appears on the organization's official calendar of events, and for the Seychelles it is their annual Carnaval International de Victoria. This carnival remains unique, because it is the only carnival where all the best and most popular carnivals of the world parade together and are followed by cultural troupes from the Community of Nations. When he was opening the 2014 edition of that unique carnival, Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, had said: “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." Minister St.Ange was using the words of the late great musician, John Lennon, in the presence of Seychelles President James Michel and the many ministers and tourism leaders from participating countries as he appealed to the world of tourism to understand the need to stand together. This mid-ocean carnival in the tropics has grown in size, it has grown to become the single biggest event staged in Seychelles, it has grown in number of participating delegations, it has grown in the number of international press who fly to Seychelles to cover the tropical carnival of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.

The Seychelles Minister says that Reunion Island has worked with Seychelles in the spirit of tourism for the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands from day one because President Didier Robert, did not only say he believed in working together to make the region's tourism industry grow for the benefit of everyone, but he worked at it, and he left no stones unturned to help the region get to where it is today. The same message is today being echoed by the Hon. Xavier-Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius and the sitting President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.

Alain St.Ange, as the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, moved away from only selling Seychelles using sun, sea, and sand, even though the world at large knows that they probably have the very best for such holidays. They moved to be an events-based destination, and one where its culture would be given its rightful place, and in so doing position the people of the islands at the center of the country's marketing. “Our culture has our very own and unique DNA," Minister St.Ange says at every carnival in Seychelles.

On the carnival in Seychelles, the Notting Hill Carnival Roadshow Company of the UK, who are a collection of the largest carnival in Europe, says, “We are the people of Carnival” and they are always present at this Seychelles event now dubbed the Carnival of Carnivals by the world press. In a communication by Claire Holder of Notting Hill Carnival, she said: “We at Notting Hill are more than happy to attend, participate, and perform at the Seychelles Carnival, which has now become one of the top five carnivals in the world because of its diversity of culture and its ability to generate social capital and social cohesion."

This Carnaval International de Victoria is an event for all who believe in a consolidated world of tourism. Tourism offices spend a fortune annually attending tourism trade fairs across the world in search of that visibility that helps to ensure they all remain relevant tourism destinations. Tourism ministers and chairmen and chief executives of tourism offices now use the carnival in Seychelles to interact with so many important press at this Carnival of Carnivals. “Here you do not dish out colorful glossy brochures, but you stand in front of the world to be counted as a tourism destination as you showcase your culture, and in so doing your people to demonstrate that you have more to show to visitors who visit you," Minister St.Ange continuously tells the world of tourism.

It has now been six years since Seychelles came up with the idea of organizing a huge carnival where nations from around the world could parade their cultures. With many countries already having their own unique carnivals, Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles envisioned an international carnival that would bring nations together in one setting to not only showcase their cultures, but also to help promote an understanding of multiculturalism. Seychelles launched an International Carnival where communities of nations get the opportunity to network and socialize in a relaxed atmosphere. The first of its kind, the carnival, which has grown every year, has come to be known as the Carnival of Carnivals.

The carnival is a unique world event for bringing nations together where different cultures are respected as well as celebrated. “Even in the General Assembly of the United Nations when some world leaders stand to deliver their address, some delegates walk out, but here, respect for everyone is and will remain the key to ties of friendship and togetherness,” St.Ange explained when he launched the event.

Supporting St.Ange's view of the carnival, Canadian journalist Carol Perhudof said that she has come to believe that the Carnaval International de Victoria could help to change the world, because it's a celebration of every culture together. “The Seychelles Carnival is a brilliant tourism idea that helps bring us to a point where we can live in harmony beyond color of skin, to live in peace with each other,” said Perehudoff, after her first visit to the islands for the Seychelles International Carnival.

Through this Carnival of Carnivals, Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles has no doubt embarked on a global multicultural movement where people can capture the spirit of internationalism to gain a better understanding and appreciation of another country's culture. Seychelles Carnival has captured the interest of leaders, tourism officials, and travelers alike from the world over. As word spreads near and far among VIPs, media sources, and curious tourists, the carnival has continued to get more popular each year. St.Ange has been able to successfully devise an ingenious way to propel people and nations to come together under one accord.

At the carnival in Seychelles, journalists from around the globe, who light up when talking about minister Alain St.Ange, have concurred that he is a very likeable tourism minister. Bea Broda, a noted broadcast personality from Toronto who also makes her home in California, sees St.Ange as a man who is full of compassion. “It is obvious to me that the success of the carnival is because of St.Ange's passion for people and Seychelles, and his desire to promote culture and tourism," says Broda, who has attended every carnival since the first one.

As the world awaits the 2016 Seychelles Carnival, a clearer picture has emerged that is the hope that the Seychelles International Carnival will eventually be seen as a symbol for world peace.

At the recent Ministerial Meeting of the Vanilla Islands held in Port Louis in Mauritius, the list of the events that appear on the organization's calendar of events was tabled and the support for the April 22 Carnaval International de Victoria was echoed by all present.

Both Xavier-Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, and Didier Robert, the President of the Regional Council of Reunion, gave their “thumbs up” for the Vanilla Islands’ coming event in Seychelles.

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said to the press in Mauritius that he was delighted to see that the Indian Ocean Islands continue to support the Seychelles event that appears on the Vanilla Islands calendar of events. “I thank both Mauritius and Reunion for their continued support," Minister St.Ange said.

PHOTO: Robert Desvaux (Mauritius Tourism Chairperson), Didier Robert (President of the Regional Council of Reunion), Alain St.Ange (Minister of Tourism&Culture of Seychelles), Xavier-Luc Duval (Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius)


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