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Didier Robert uses Routes Africa 2012 in Seychelles to make case for La Reunion and places bid to host 2014 forum in La Reunion

Didier Robert uses Routes Africa 2012 in Seychelles to make case for La Reunion and places bid to host 2014 forum in La Reunion (Forimmediaterelease.net) Didier Robert, the Président de la Région Réunion, used the Routes Africa forum in Seychelles to showcase La Réunion’s new drive to develop tourism.

“A dynamic tourism industry in the Indian Ocean is a chance for the economy and work opportunity for La Reunion,” President Didier Robert said.

La Reunion’s President Robert participated in the 7th Routes Africa forum from July 8-10 in Seychelles. Routes Africa 2012 gathered in excess of 200 delegates and decision makers from the field of tourism and aviation with focus on Africa and the Indian Ocean. President Didier Robert was scheduled to address the forum alongside Minister Joel Morgan, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Internal Affairs and Transport; Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, the Minister for Tourism from South Africa; and Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture; and other invited delegates from the field of aviation.

In his address, President Didier Robert of La Reunion recognized the new drive in place since the last two years with the Vanilla Islands and their joint marketing initiatives being undertaken, which is now increasing visitor arrival numbers in the region. The President of La Reunion has reiterated his position as far as La Reunion is concerned in this grouping of Indian Ocean Islands, and he restated his desire to work within the group to make the Indian Ocean a key tourism destination through intelligent approaches in the field of cooperation between regional airlines.

“We are today stating clearly that we shall seize this new opportunity to reposition our island on the world stage. We want the Indian Ocean islands to be a sought-after tourism region by telling the world who we are and what we have that are our unique selling points: our natural beauty and the diversity that exists between our islands, our rich cultural heritage, and the diversity of our people remain assets we can all be proud of. These are realities of all our islands and still seen today through our respective islands.

“The Indian Ocean islands are today not as united as we can be in the world of aviation and tourism. The question remains on believing in each other and in working together as we compete and cooperate at the same time. How do we move to build on the level of service we all offer? How do we build on an integrated regional air service? And how do we associate this with the international networks?

“Tomorrow’s aviation needs will not be conceived through the world of politics, but as serious leaders that we are, we can show our willingness to work hand in hand in this new era of togetherness to bring growth for the benefit of our respective population,” President Didier Robert said.

It was the first time that Routes Africa was organized in the Indian Ocean region. It was a rare opportunity for networking on air access between Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean region. Air companies present included Arik Air, Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles, Air Mauritius, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Mega Maldives, South African Airways, and Air Austral. Airport authorities present included: Ghana, Aéroports du Mali, Mozambique Aéroport, Entebbe, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Istanbul SabihaGökçen International Airport, and Bangalore International Airport, among others.

President Didier Robert of La Reunion has used his presence as a keynote speaker at the Seychelles forum to propose to Mr. David Stroud, the Vice President of Routes, to consider La Reunion as the venue for the 9th Routes Africa in 2014.

On the sidelines of the Routes Africa 2012 forum in Seychelles, President Didier Robert of La Reunion also followed the formalization of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands organization, and he made time to meet with Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture. The creation of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands is based on a rotational system for the Presidency (with Seychelles covering the first year). The action plan will be proposed and discussed during the coming weeks to ensure better-coordinated promotional activities.

With Minister Marthinus C.J. van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister responsible for Tourism, President Didier Robert discussed cooperation primarily in the field of tourism. On specific projects, the Vanilla Islands concept was tabled with packages taking in South Africa, Seychelles, and La Reunion. The bid by La Reunion to host the World Tourism Organization 2013 Executive Committee meeting was tabled, as President Didier Robert sought the support of South Africa for their bid.

Seychelles and La Reunion are both founding members of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

PHOTO: President Didier Robert (R) being seen off by Minister Alain St.Ange (L) at Seychelles Intl. Airport

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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