The annual Ministerial Meeting of the Indian Ocean Islands that was taking place at the Westin Resort at Balaclava in Mauritius saw the ceremony of the handing over of the Organisation’s Flag by the Madagascar Minister responsible for Tourism to Mr Xavier Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius in the presence of the Tourism Minister of the Seychelles, President of Reunion and the President of the Tourism Organisation of Mayotte.
As the official ceremony unfolded it was Patrick Victor, the well known and popular Seychelles artist who had the honour to play his song entitled “Koste Pep Locean Indien” (Unite People of the Indian Ocean). Before the gathered Press and dignitaries Patrick Victor did Seychelles proud as he placed demonstrated how culture can remain the base for one’s tourism industry. Patrick Victor is well known as a musician and artist in all the Indian Ocean Islands and his song was one of the most fitting for this solemn occasion.
Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and for Culture in the Seychelles told the press after the Vanilla Island ceremony that for Seychelles it has been accepted that we cannot have tourism without culture. “Yes we still have a few sceptics who do not respect the is world of culture, but as a whole everyone knob that by us having placed culture at the centre of our tourism development, we have place the People of Seychelles at the Centre of our island’s development” Minister St.Ange said.
“Culture is the heart and soul of a country and I am honoured to see today culture playing its part to cement the bonds between our islands. This is also in line with what the world bodies (UNWTO & UNESCO) are advocating when they say using culture to consolidate tourism and using tourism to safeguard culture” the Seychelles Minister said.