As Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) has used the year 2013 to reinvent itself and rebrand, showcasing the magnificent attractions this French Indian Ocean island has to offer to visitors, the island’s tourism sector has also started to benefit from the positive spotlight IRT has generated. Two new diving centers were launched recently, B’Leu Ocean in Saint-Leu and the Southern Diving School in Saint-Pierre, both offering a range of diving options, besides courses for beginners and advanced divers, ready to cash in on the expected tourism boom the island is hoping for in 2014 and beyond. Also new are the new Cascade Cottages, which offer hikers enroute to Piton de Neiges, incidentally with 3,070 meters the highest peak in the entire Indian Ocean region, accommodation and meals in typical Creole houses. The three cottages feature self-contained double bedrooms as well as dormitory style accommodation for larger groups of hikers who pass through Bras Sec Cilaos.
While, of course, tourism to Reunion was always there, traffic flow was primarily dominated by the French domestic market, and greater global exposure only started to come into play when Reunion joined hands with the globally better-known Seychelles, which though smaller in terms of arrival numbers, had managed to capture the attention of the global media. Reunion, co-host of the Carnival International de Victoria since the inaugural event in 2011, has seen their global reach grow in leaps and bounds, and the UNWTO Conference on Sustainable Tourism for Small Island States brought key players of the world’s leading tourism and travel publications to the island able to see for themselves the wide range of adventure, culture, history, and beach attractions which make Reunion so unique.
Reunion is a founder member of the Vanilla Island Organization which brings together key Indian Ocean islands off the coast of Africa such as the Seychelles, Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, and Mauritius, and of late also the Maldives.
For more information visit www.reunion.fr which now offers multilingual versions in more than half a dozen languages.