Launch cruise season

The arrival of the Costa Mediterranea marked the beginning of the season to the Seychelles a few days ago.

Reunion is likewise ready for the launch of the 2019-2020 cruise season in the Indian Ocean.

A launch meeting took place on Tuesday at the Port Est cruise terminal that was attended by all actors in the sector.

The Vanilla Islands had a presence at the event, to highlight their role in the sector.

A hundred or so people were gathered in the heart of the port area, which welcomes the first stopover as from Thursday 24 October 2019.

For the occasion, the annual partnership convention of the Grand Maritime Port of Reunion and of the Federation for Reunion Tourism the FRT took place once again.

The FRT manages the coordination of cruise receptions at entry points into Reunion.

The convention sets out how the cruise season is to be managed within the maritime port.

The cruise business is classed as an economic driver for the island, and is warmly welcomed by the Region of Reunion which manages tourism growth.

The region’s vice-president Mr Picardo has stated that the activity necessitates investment on the part of the local authority. The regional tourism facility and growth plan is, to this end, a key reference point for the choices made.

Port Reunion has revealed its action plan relating to infrastructure. Its provisions include dedicated facilities to facilitate and improve cruise stopovers. A comprehensive reorganisation of the cruise terminal has been revisited in order to improve traffic flows and streamline the way staff work at the FRT.

The strategy is a result of collaborative work, though each island in the zone works on the development of the cruise business within its own territory.

It is led by the Vanilla Islands. The organisation presently handles cruise promotion activities directed at companies and at target markets.

Pascal Viroleau, director of the Vanilla Isles, says “The task still consists of finding the right growth levers.  Our day-to-day challenges are to attract new companies, and to seek out new market segments.

To this end, a market positioning survey is presently under way in conjunction with the Association of the Ports of the Islands of the Indian Ocean (APIOI). Its aim is to redefine the strategy’s scope in the coming years. The outcomes of the previous strategic plan having now been achieved, with 50 000 passengers

Initiatives to diversify markets and stopover points will also be implemented in the months to come. There are also plans to further enhance the stopover opportunities in the Vanilla Islands.

Pascal Viroleau highlighted the fantastic work done by the FRT over the years.  This organisation has become a flagship entity in the zone for its high service quality.

A survey undertaken by a well-known cruise company covering 100 ports awarded Reunion second place.   These findings are a testament to the work carried out on a daily basis by all of the ports in the Indian Ocean zone.

We wish Reunion and all the isles every success in the new 2019/2020 cruise season. We are confident that the Vanilla Islands brand will be flagged as a new international cruise destination.