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Rodrigues island of Mauritius came, saw and now confirms participation at 2014 carnival in Seychelles

Rodrigues island of Mauritius came, saw and now confirms participation at 2014 carnival in Seychelles ( A delegation from the Mauritius island of Rodrigues was in Seychelles for the third edition of Carnaval Internationale de Victoria from February 8-10. The delegation was headed by the island's Tourism Commissioner, Mr. Jean Richard Payenbee, who was accompanied by the re-known Rodrigues artist, Mr. Cledino Edward. They were in Seychelles following an invitation from the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, Minister Alain St.Ange, after the visit of Mr. Serge Clair, the Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues island for the Kreol Festival last October.

The two-man delegation paid a courtesy visit to Minister St.Ange, the Minister for Tourism and Culture, where many points of cooperation were discussed. Minister St.Ange emphasized at the start of the meeting that it remained his duty, as President of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organization, to ensure that the island of Rodrigues features on the list of invited guests for the Carnaval International de Victoria, as this is an event for the Vanilla Islands Group.

Mr. Payenbee expressed his satisfaction and gratitude towards the Ministry and the Seychelles Tourism Board for hosting them. “The carnival was really something out of this world,” he said, “When we decided to come we did not really know what to expect. We thought it was just another one of those parades we had seen before. But we got more than we bargained for, and we cannot wait to get back home to tell others about our extraordinary experience.” They said they have taken a series of photographs and will set up an exhibition on the “Carnivals of Carnivals” as soon as they get back home.

Mr. Payenbee expressed his disappointment for not having been able to bring a group from his island to participate in the 2013 edition of the carnival in the Indian Ocean, but gave his commitment that the Rodrigues island will definitely participate in the fourth edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria next year.

The Minister used the meeting as an opportunity to talk about the objectives, and of the benefits to be gained by the different countries participating in the annual carnival staged annually in Seychelles. “Many countries attend tourism trade fairs and many use the opportunity to specifically seek increased visibility for their country through their unique selling points. Many of us address press conferences at these tourism trade fairs, and we all know that getting press support is difficult, and numbers attending small press conferences are often small. One of the main benefits of participating in the annual Carnaval International de Victoria is the chance to gain maximum publicity and increased visibility for participating countries. Seychelles ensures that there are always approximately 80 different press and media houses from all over the world covering the annual carnival event. So what better place to be seen to be showcasing your country's culture, people, and unique selling points?" Minister Alain St.Ange said to the delegation from Rodrigues island.

Among other issues discussed were the assistance of Seychelles in the training of students involved in the tourism trade, and in return Rodrigues island is considering to assist Seychelles’ small arts and crafts entrepreneurs in localized style packaging and of presenting of finished artisanal products, an area where Rodrigues is known to have really evolved and excelled.

Minister St.Ange also stressed on the necessity to ensure that the island of Rodrigues participates in all future meetings of the “Vanilla Islands” in its own right as a fully-fledged member island. During the meeting the two delegations also talked about the participation of Seychelles in the Kreol Festival organized by the Rodriques island, and for a fact-finding mission headed by Minister St.Ange to Rodrigues before the end of the year.


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