Seychelles, Reunion discuss inter-island cooperation

By Isaac Tersoo Agber

If you haven’t seen a honeymooners haven with aquatic playground and inspiring shorelines, you might just make a trip to Seychelles, an archipelago located 1000 miles east of the African coast in the Indian Ocean at the crossroad between Asia and Africa. And if you ever wish for a dazzling mesmeric experience in a real tropical environment meshed with the active Piton de la Fournaise volcano, natural amphitheaters formed by collapsed volcanoes, offshore reefs, beaches and Creole culture, Reunion Island would be the right choice.

The authorities of these great Islands have officially signed a symbiotic relationship to attract tourists, honeymoon prospects and vacation seekers to their alluring destinations domiciled in the Indian Ocean.

The Conseilliere Regionale of Reunion Island, Faouzia Vitry, and Sophie Jasmin, the Cultural Director of the Island tied the business knot recently with the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange.

The ground-breaking synergy took place at the 2016 Carnival International Victoria of the Reunion Island held in April. Mme Vitry and Mme Jasmin were the Official representatives of the French Insular (Reunion) alongside Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

Lynda Mow Sim, Seychelles’ Conseillere Regionale, was also part of the Island’s long cultural delegation that participated at the carnival. Both the Reunion and Seychelles delegations discussed the firming-up of a working program that will be formalized in the coming weeks when Reunion’s President, Didier Robert with Mme Vitry will visit Seychelles.

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With this bilateral union, the Islands are looking forward to a stress-free cooperation that will benefit their tourism, culture and trade by removing all barriers at their international borders and allowing hitch-free air connectivity.

Reunion is a French Insular with a population running close to 900,000, according to a 2015 report. It also has a landmass covering 2,512 kilometers almost the size of Lagos, Nigeria. It has a tropical climate, one cooled by southeasterly trade winds. Those winds help supply copious rainfall, driving an occasional cyclone into the area. The rainy season runs November through March. Daily highs in the mid80s are commonplace, and overall, mean temperatures average in the high 70s; with slightly cooler conditions in the higher elevations.

The Seychelles are definitely one of the world’s most beautiful tropical Islands. The archipelago consists of 115 Islands spread over 1.3 million km² of the western Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar, with a total land area of 444 km², making the Island nation just about the size of Andorra, or 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC.

About half of the islands are of granitic origin, with narrow coastal strips and central ranges of hills rising up to 900 m. The other half are coral atolls, many of them uninhabited.

The relationship between Reunion and the Seychelles is not misplaced, as both are neighbours in the Indian Ocean, use the same official language – French –, same culture, same landscape and same business ideologies.