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Seychelles Minister St.Ange honored by Madagascar for standing behind the tourism efforts of the Vanilla Islands

Seychelles Minister St.Ange honored by Madagascar for standing behind the tourism efforts of the Vanilla Islands (Forimmediaterelease.net) The work being carried for tourism in the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands by Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, has been recognized by Madagascar only months after La Reunion bestowed on the Minister a Certificate naming him as an Ambassador for La Reunion.

The “Order National" by Madagascar, duly signed by Andry Nirina Rajoelina, the President of the Republic, was presented to Minister Alain St.Ange at a formal ceremony during the 2012 edition of the International Tourism Fair of Madagascar, by Minister Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, the Madagascar Minister responsible for Tourism, in the presence of Mrs. Annick Rajaona, the Director for International Relations and Spokesperson for the President, Mr. Eric Koler, President of the Office National du Tourisme de Madagascar, and other dignitaries.

With the full Guard of Honor and trumpets blaring, Minister Jean Max Rakotomamonjy read the Official “Ordre National" Number 2012 – 570 of May 30, 2012 confirming Alain St.Ange as “Commandeur de l’Ordre National," before placing the medal on Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles and presenting him with his Official Certificate.

Madagascar said that they were thankful for the key role being played by the Seychelles Minister in the development of tourism for the region and for increasing the visibility of the region. “Your work and your support is assisting Madagascar tourism find its rightful place. For this we are thankful, and we count on your continued personal involvement. We thank you for being in Madagascar for the International Tourism Fair to express solidarity for the island’s tourism industry,” Minister Jean Max Rakotomamonjy said.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister Alain St.Ange said that he was honored and emotional to be so decorated by Madagascar. “I can only said that I remain committed to the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands concept and that I will work with the six islands of the Indian Ocean group to ensure we all see success for our respective island’s tourism industry,” Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles said.

It must be remembered that this recognition comes but a couple of months since La Reunion had used the ITB Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin, Germany, to present the Seychelles Minister Alain St.Ange with a certificate recognizing him as an Ambassador of La Reunion for his tireless work in the promotion of the Indian Ocean Vanilla islands region. The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture then received a Certificate of Merit as an “Ambassadeur Ile De La Reunion,” not only for his tireless work in the promotion of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands but also for his contribution to showcase La Reunion through the Carnaval International de Victoria, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival.

Alain St.Ange was responsible for inviting La Reunion to be co-host alongside the Seychelles for the 2012 Carnaval International de Victoria and this had helped La Reunion to be more visible in front of a large bank of press coming from the four corners of the world. At the press briefing at the Kempinski Resort, the day before the official opening of the Carnival International de Victoria, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival, after promotional video clips of Seychelles and La Reunion were shown to the seventy plus press gathered, Alain St.Ange spoke about La Reunion as the Indian Ocean island that offered “Swiss like” mountains and a gentle passive volcano. “Seychelles and La Reunion complement each other as ideal twin-center holiday options,” Minister Alain St.Ange had said.

It must be remembered that President Didier Robert, the President of La Region La Reunion, personally led his island’s 100-plus delegation to the carnival in Seychelles. He was accompanied by Pascal Viroleau, the Head of the IRT (Ile de La Reunion Tourisme).

Both Seychelles and La Reunion form part of the six islands of the Vanilla Islands region in the Indian Ocean, and both these islands at that time reconfirmed their willingness to continue to cooperate in the field of tourism promotion as they agreed to continue to seek to convince the other islands of that block to also embrace the Carnaval International de Victoria, the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Carnival, as the event that can increase visibility of the region.

That presentation of the Certificate of Merit – Ambassadeur Ile de la Reunion was made in Berlin Germany to Mr. St.Ange by Mr. Azeddine Bouali, a member of the La Reunion Tourism Board in the presence of Mr. Pascal Viroleau, the Head of the La Reunion Tourism (IRT) and other officials from La Reunion tourism.

Alain St.Ange at that time had said that he was honored to have been awarded this Certificate of Merit by La Reunion. “We had agreed to work together to strengthen our region and increase its visibility as an important tourism region where diversity exists. Inviting La Reunion to be a co-host of the carnival was to help our region have a bigger carnival, but at the same time help put La Reunion in the forefront in the eyes of the press and to get them more known in the world of tourism. They have appreciated our effort, and it pleases me. Seychelles always believes that a strong region will ensure a more consolidated tourism industry for all our Indian Ocean Islands,” Minister Alain St.Ange had said.

Seychelles, La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, and Comoros all form part of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands group. The Islands have undertaken joint marketing initiatives to increase their regions visibility. Last year, that Vanilla Islands group organized an airline meeting in Mauritius to discuss with all airlines serving the islands of the Indian Ocean on the way forward. Since that Mauritius meeting, much has changed in the world of aviation and in the individual situation of all the airlines (Air Seychelles, Air Mauritius, Air Austral, and Air Austral) of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.

Pascal Viroleau of La Reunion as Head of the IRT (La Reunion Tourism) has called for a follow-up meeting in Seychelles in July. His call has already been welcomed by Seychelles and also by Madagascar and Mayotte, following a meeting of these three islands at the 2012 International Tourism Fair of Madagascar.

PHOTO: Seychelles Tourism Minister Alain St.Ange, receives Order National signed Madagascar's President

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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