The recent elections in Mauritius swept a new government into power, and the island’s new Cabinet of Ministers sees the Hon. Xavier-Luc Duval, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, also take over the tourism portfolio. This act in elevating the tourism portfolio to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister shows the importance of tourism for the island’s new government.
The move has been welcomed by tourism operators who had been struggling in the past couple of years. Michael Sik Yuen was the former Minister of Tourism of Mauritius and is one of the casualties of the last elections who lost his electoral seat.
Speaking to Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, he said that he welcomed the appointment of Xavier-Luc Duval as the one holding the tourism portfolio in Mauritius. “Mr. Duval is well known to us in Seychelles. I remember well sitting with him in a meeting with Joseph Belmont, the former Vice President of Seychelles, in London at the World Travel Market when I was still CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board. In the past years, I have seen and met with Mr. Duval on several occasions, and only this week I wrote to Mr. Duval to congratulate him on his electoral victory and for taking over the tourism portfolio,” the Seychelles Minister said.
Mr. St.Ange said that he wrote to the Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister at his personal email address, and also through the official diplomatic channels. When asked what he told the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. St.Ange said that the following was his message to Mr. Duval:
“We are writing to firstly congratulate you on your electoral victory and to say that we welcomed the news that you had also taken over the tourism portfolio.
Anne Lafortune, my PS for Tourism, and Sherin Naiken, my CEO of the Tourism Board, join me in welcoming you as the new Minister of Tourism of Mauritius, and together we say that we are looking forward to working with you for the consolidation of the tourism industry of our respective islands and of our Indian Ocean region.
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, we look forward to meeting with you officially in the coming months, and to see how we can together plan common strategies to grow the tourism cake of our region.
Seychelles Minister St.Ange, who is Minister responsible of both Tourism and Culture, said that he also wrote to the Hon. Dan Baboo, the new Mauritian Minister responsible for the Arts and Culture, saying: “We are writing to firstly congratulate you on your electoral victory and to say that we welcomed the news that you had also taken over the Arts & Culture portfolio.
On what he felt would be the reaction by the Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister, the Seychelles Minister said that he had already received a reply from Mr. Duval that stated his willingness to work together because their islands complement each other in the context of the Vanilla islands.