Vanilla Islands platform helps Mauritius diversify and enrich tourism portfolio
Moreover, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority announced this week that 100 Chinese couples will come to hold their wedding in Mauritius this year. (Image: Beachcomber)
Mauritius tourism minister Michael Sik Yuen lauded the Vanilla Islands concept, stating that it has afforded an opportunity to market Mauritius as part of twin and multi-destination packages to tourists.
“The complementary of our product offer along with those of the other destinations of the region has enhanced the product portfolio of Mauritius,” noted the minister in the Mauritius parliament last week.
Moreover, “the inter-island tourism will help to develop the cruise segment from Mauritius and there is no doubt that benefits will be reaped under the “Iles Vanilles” (Vanilla Islands) concept, in times to come,” he added.
In an exclusive interview last week, the minister mentioned that three cruise projects were under contemplation within the next one year. He noted that two projects in particular, from Italy and South Africa, were in an advanced stage.
“We are targeting Costa Cruises from Genoa from January 2015 onwards. The cruise ship will cover Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion Island and Seychelles,” he stated.
“For the second project from South Africa, we are working on the routes and have met several times with the service provider. Finally, we have a third project for a cruise targeting Chinese tourists which has been received over the last few weeks and is currently under contemplation,” he added.
Meanwhile, as per latest developments in the Vanilla Islands Organization, the President of the Vanilla Islands, Alain St.Ange, who is also the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture, will see his tenure draw to a close in May. The handover to the new President of the Vanilla Islands will take place at the Madagascar Tourism Fair.
However, the final decision on who will be the next President of the Vanilla islands will be taken at the next ministerial meeting itself, a day before the official opening of the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ scheduled to take place in Seychelles on 24th April.
Furthermore, in line with the strategy of forging new markets to diversify the tourism portfolio away from traditional EU markets, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority announced this week that 100 Chinese couples will come to hold their wedding in Mauritius this year.
“This event will create a buzz around Mauritius in China as the newlyweds share their best moments with family and friends,” said Karl Mootoosamy, MTPA Director.
A team of journalists, filmmakers, artists and Chinese writers accompanied by Mauritius tourism officials are currently in the country as part of a tourism promotion campaign.
Every year about 20,000 of 150,000 couples who marry in Shanghai celebrate their weddings abroad, where Mauritius is seen as a top destination where they can combine travel, wedding, honeymoon and relaxation.
Incidentally, for the last three years, Mauritius has been lifting the title of the Best Honeymoon Destination in the Indian Ocean region. Last year, Mauritius followed it up with the title of the World’s Best Honeymoon Destination at the World Travel Awards in November.