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Reunion Island celebrates 100 years of legendary aviator born in Saint-Denis

Reunion Island celebrates 100 years of legendary aviator born in Saint-Denis ( On September 23, 1913, Roland Garros, a young airman born in Saint-Denis on Reunion Island, was on the first air crossing of the Mediterranean. Today, Reunion Island is associated with one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments, the French Open, which is often referred to as Roland Garros, as it was named after this famous French aviator.

To celebrate the exceptional career of this precursor outstanding, Reunion Island is organizing a series of events that will highlight its core values, which combine both sportsmanship, sharing cultures, and hospitality reserved for genuine travelers to the island.

In honor of this aviator, the Saint-Denis Gillot was renamed International Airport La Reunion Roland Garros in 1994. Since the landing of the first aircraft on Reunion Island in 1929, up to the launch of the airport’s new corporate identity in 2012, the airport of La Reunion Roland Garros today passes the 2 million passengers mark, making it an essential aviation point in the Indian Ocean.


Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) is part of the Regional Tourism Council (CRT). Tourism, one of the major strengths of Reunion Island, is an important economic issue. To promote the assets worthy of a continent, the Regional Council has established a sustainable development plan and key solidarity objectives. Reunion Island has welcomed one million tourists, and it aims to double that number by the year 2020. To achieve this objective, the IRT has created an active and concerted tourism policy as a means of action to anticipate and respond to travelers. Reunion Island is developing a brand quality of its destination in conjunction with the “guardian" of the National Label QT (Quality Tourism), valuing the plurality of its tourism and focus on innovation, including the creation and deposit of the INPI label, “Innovation," for the development of innovative tourism products in line with the new demands of an international clientele. Concrete illustrations include the creation of a Regional Tourism Observatory for professionals, obtaining price “Travel d'Or" for the best iPad app to discover Reunion through a 360-degree launch in 2011, and the first place trophy for the “Imagine Innovative Tourism Project Reunion 2030."

MEDIA CONTACT: Pascal Viroleau, Director, Ile de la Reunion Tourisme (IRT), Tel: +33 810 160 000, Fax: +262 262 21 00 21, Email: , Web:

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