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Vanilla Islands Organization joins UNWTO

Vanilla Islands Organization joins UNWTO ( The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Regional Organization has been endorsed by the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), when its Secretary General, Mr. Taleb Rifai, formally invited this grouping of islands of the Indian Ocean as a full member of the UNWTO.

The announcement was made following discussions between Mr. Taleb Rifai, the Secretary General of the UNWTO, and Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles who is the sitting President of the Vanilla Islands. The meeting was held on Reunion yesterday, September 10, during the Ministerial Meeting of the Vanilla Islands Organization which is running parallel to the UNWTO conference on Sustainable Development of Tourism in Islands which starts today, September 11.

Mr. Rifai is fully supportive of the Vanilla Islands initiative and has proposed that the fully-fledged organization be launched jointly with the UNWTO at their annual press conference at World Travel Market in London this coming November. Minister St.Ange and Mr. Rifai also discussed further plans to move the organization into the Community of Nations as the new tourism destination.

The Vanilla Islands Organization is now fully operational with an initial budget for 2013 of Euros 650,000, with Pascal Viroleau assuming his role as CEO and Derek Savy as Director of Marketing of the organization.

The Vanilla Islands is comprised of the Seychelles, La Reunion, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte, and the Maldives.


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