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Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture meets with Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs to discuss new areas of cooperation

Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture meets with Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs to discuss new areas of cooperation (Forimmediaterelease.net) The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean Paul Adam, joined together to welcome to Seychelles the Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka. After arriving in Seychelles on board Emirates on Sunday, March 24, Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris and his spouse were escorted to the VIP lounge for talks with the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture in the presence of Minister Jean Paul Adam; Special Advisor for Culture and Tourism Raymond Onezime; Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Tourism Board Elsia Grandcourt; and Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Seychelles Errol Fonseka.

It is recognized today that Sri Lanka’s diversification of its tourism product is unparalleled. Sri Lanka is also often described as an authentic tourism destination and a potential partner for Seychelles in many respects.

While the development of tourism was at the forefront of discussions, the access of air connectivity between Sri Lanka and Seychelles was also discussed. Sri Lanka is strategically located next to the fast-growing Indian sub-continent with close proximity to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. With Seychelles opening up to these new markets, the possibility of a codeshare agreement between airlines from Seychelles and Sri Lanka could be a boost to both these markets and possibly also open up an air link with Maldives.

“The possibility of a codeshare agreement to open up air connectivity between airlines from Sri Lanka and Seychelles could help boost the tourism potential of countries. Sri Lanka and Seychelles have great tourism potential with strong cultural and eco-tourism products that could be developed further through stronger cooperation. By opening up air connectivity between Sri Lanka and Seychelles the potential exists to tap into the Maldives market and establish direct air links with the region,” said Minister St.Ange.

Minister St.Ange said that as President of the Vanilla Islands, decisions have been tabled to broaden the scope of the organization’s member states by adding Maldives on the list of island states represented in the Vanilla Islands.

“With Maldives on board, the time has arrived for us to look further afield; we could open up to invite Sri Lanka to also be a member of the Vanilla Islands. Sri Lanka is a key partner for Seychelles and for the Indian Ocean islands as whole. This partnership could be translated into a positive outcome for our islands,” Minister St.Ange added.

The Seychelles Minister also stressed the possibility of Sri Lanka working as a block with the Vanilla Islands to turn the region into a “human-sized cruise ship destination.”

“The Indian Ocean is a region that can offer human-sized cruise ships a new destination. Small cruise ships can sail the oceans from Africa, India, and Asia. Human-sized cruise ships are an area with immense business potential. The region’s tourism industry is eyeing this lucrative cruise liner market. We can get these luxury carriers to anchor at our ports and turn our region into a new tourism cruise ship destination if we all work together,” said Minister St.Ange.

The visit of the Minister of External Affairs of Democratic Socialist of Sri Lanka is a follow up to President James Michel’s visit in Sri Lanka in August 2012. Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris said that his country “believes in the culture of value added for a small community.”

“Seychelles represents for Sri Lanka the ideal partner to work with. We will explore these areas of interest,” said Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris.

PHOTO: Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture meets with Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris in the presence of Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Paul Adam, Special Advisor for Culture and Tourism Raymond Onezime, Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Tourism Board Elsia Grandcourt, and Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Seychelles Errol Fonseka. / Photo from Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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