The tourism ministers who were in Seychelles to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association IORA) tourism ministerial meeting being held at Savoy Resort and Spa have pledged to work together to promote this vital industry in the Indian Ocean region.
A declaration affirming that all member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) have agreed to work together to achieve this common tourism goal. The Association’s final document following the two day meeting called the ‘Seychelles Declaration’ was approved and adopted at the end of the first ever IORA Tourism Ministerial meeting.
The accord also declares that the member states recognise that the numerous facets of tourism in the Indian Ocean Rim region should be developed and optimised in a sustainable way: adventure tourism, business tourism, coastal tourism, cruise tourism, safari and wildlife tourism, medical tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, underwater tourism, youth tourism, spiritual tourism, among others were all discussed.
The development in the tourism industry would be in keeping with the environmental rules, regulations and requirements of the member states and UN/ international organizations.
Another aspect of the declaration states that the Indian Ocean Rim Association member states should attach higher importance to the tourism and travel industry, and encourage closer regional cooperation through appropriate tourism coordination mechanisms in order to increase the competitiveness of the region.
The need for private sector engagement and Public-Private Partnerships in enhancing productivity and competitiveness of the tourism sector has also been stated in the declaration.
Speaking to the media after the official opening ceremony of this first Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) tourism ministerial meeting which was held between November 20-21, the Seychelles Principal Secretary for Tourism Anne Lafortune said each country of the association have their own strategies and objectives for their tourism industry, but the Indian Ocean Rim Association wants to help these countries to promote tourism as one goal.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association tourism ministerial meeting was being held under the theme – Tourism and Travel within the IORA.
Several recommendations were put forward during this meeting among which is for the Indian Ocean Rim Association to encourage member states to set up a joint working group on tourism and air transport to look into the challenges of connectivity and regulations and to come up with an appropriate model.
In regards to cruise tourism, it has been agreed that cruise tourism strategy needs to be developed as part of the overall tourism strategies and that member states should consider the opportunity for the development of small cruise vessel tourism.