The six islands of the Indian Ocean (Mayotte, Comoros, Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius and Seychelles) launched a few years ago their new Tourism Region called the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands.
The success of this spirit of togetherness can be seen in the increased number of cruises ships in the region and extended length of stay tied to the docks. This is bringing economic benefits to each of the islands and showcasing these islands as serious tourism players.
The Presidency of the Vanilla Islands is on a rotational basis between the six islands of the group. It was the Comoros who handed over the Vanilla islands Flag to Mayotte and, in so doing, the Presidency.
In the Ministerial Meeting of the Vanilla Islands held on the 8th February in Mayotte, the desire of the islands to continue to cooperate together as the Vanilla Islands was reinforced.
In his statement to show his commitment to the principles of the organisation launched in 2014, the new President Soibahadine IBRAHIM RAMADANI said, "I hope to consolidate on our successes and also to reinforce the path laid out for our association. Cruise tourism will continue to be our priority. We have to accelerate our actions to be better prepared for the increased number of cruise ships through increased professionalism and through harmonising the offers between our island group."
43000 cruise ship passengers were plying between the Vanilla Islands in 2017 and for the next term to 2020 a new target of 50000 cruise ship passengers has been set and this shows a 200% increase from 2014 when the region sat down to work together.