Minister of Tourism and Leisure Nando Bodha said that the Vanilla Islands project could be the country’s main source of foreign currency.
He was speaking at a press meet attended by Seychelles tourism board deputy CEO Elsia Grandcourt and Madagascar tourism office director Joel Randriamandrato in Port Louis on Wednesday.
The project involves Mauritius, Madagascar, Réunion Island and Seychelles and will act as a tourism hub offering a package holiday allowing tourists to travel across these islands without any visa, hotel booking and concerns with destination management companies.
However, Bodha said the islands must ensure there is a return on investment for key stakeholders such as hotels to make sure the project is viable. Representatives of tourism offices from Madagascar, Reunion and Seychelles were in Mauritius to discuss details including airlines, air ticket prices and taxes.
Bodha announced that Air Mauritius had decided to lower its ticket prices by 10 euros to make the project more accessible.
“We want to turn the Indian Ocean into a common zone and we are doing everything to ensure the project becomes a reality,” the minister said.
Bodha, who will be visiting Réunion Island on April 9, added, “Air Mauritius is already decreasing its prices by 10 euros and we hope airlines in Réunion Island will do the same,” said the minister.
He also called for more investment, training and exchange of information. Bodha added that he wants to further develop the project to allow a connection between Asia and Africa.
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