Signed in Seychelles: Ports in the Indian Ocean want to harmonize cruise ship experience

A study on how to upgrade port services in the Indian Ocean at the same level was commissioned this week.

The signing took place in Seychelles, the country holding the chairmanship of the Vanilla Islands Group.

The Director General of the Seychelles Port Authority, Ronny Brutus, said it is important that "we harmonize our infrastructure for cruise ships docking in our ports".

Brutus said, "The study will also compare different ports in the region to bring all ports to the same level to meet visitor expectations, which will help us adopt best practices from other ports."

The study is funded by the European Union and the French Development Agency (AFD) for an amount of $ 360,000. The contract to complete the study - which will last six months during the cruise season - has been awarded to Inchcape, a company based in Mauritius.

The study will focus on the countries that are part of the Vanilla Islands, an affiliation of islands including Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, Mayotte and the Maldives.

A memorandum of understanding to start the project was signed Thursday by the Inchcape representative from Mauritius and the president of the Indian Ocean Islands Ports Association, Ramalingum Maistry.

In his speech, Mr. Dogley, who is also Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, said that the arrival of a cruise ship brings economic growth to the country and that It is therefore important to conduct a thorough study.

"As a small island developing state, we rely heavily on tourism as the main source of revenue, and our port and facilities give the first impression when visitors land on their cruise liner , so we have to constantly find ways to innovators to satisfy them, and this study will help us do that, "he said.

According to the Seychelles port authorities, the 2018/2019 cruises season recorded 46 vessel calls. The cruise season in Seychelles lasts from October to April.

For his part, Maistry said it goes without saying that there is huge potential in the Indian Ocean for cruise ships.

"What we have to do is find out how we can capture this traffic, so this study will be conducted to better understand the evolution of this sector, including the discovery of our strengths and our weaknesses, "said Mr. Maistry.

He added that after the study, "we will develop a joint action plan to develop this sector in the economic interest of the islands of the Indian Ocean".

The majority of cruise ships bound for Seychelles land at Victoria Harbor, the island's main port, which opened in 1972. Upon arrival, visitors are welcomed into a special reception area, accompanied by traditional music and dance of the island.

Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, have become the first destination for cruise ships in the region, winning the first cruise destination in the Indian Ocean at the 2019 World Travel Awards .

Source: Seychelles News Agency