To be stronger together and strengthen the impact and visibility of the islands of the Indian Ocean, representatives of tourist offices of the Indian Ocean zone agreed on the label "The Vanilla Islands" during a meeting in the House of Commerce and Industry of Reunion August 4, 2010. The concept emphasizes building links and exploits the synergy between the islands of the Indian Ocean by the creation of tourist handsets that promotes exchanges between islands. In July 2012, key management members islands came together to create the association Vanilla Islands Organization (VIO), whose objective is the development of tourism in the Indian Ocean area and sit in Reunion
For the first year, Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Seychelles, has been appointed President of VIO, renewed for a further year at the fair ITM 2013 in Antananarivo. He will be assisted by Michael Sik Yen, Minister of Tourism and Leisure of Mauritius, as Vice-President. The office of the association also consists of Viroleau Pascal, Director of VIO, Derek Savy, the new marketing manager, Harouna Atoumani, Vice-President of the Departmental Board of Tourism of Mayotte as Treasurer and Jacqueline Farreyrol, President of the Reunion Island Tourism as Secretary.
The board is completed, under simple directors by Eric Koller - President of the National Tourist Board of Madagascar, Fatuma Nassor the Comorian Association of Tourism and Didier Robert, President of the Regional Council of Reunion.
In a «Vanilla Islands " summit meeting early in September 2013, the Maldives has made their entry in the Vanilla Islands Association, which now has a seventh destination member. As his capacity as Secretary General of the UNWTO, Dr. Taleb Rifai has validated the integration of islands VIO as full members of the WTO
This association, mainly funded by the European Union, will have the opportunity and the means to develop large-scale actions .
The concept of the Vanilla Islands, now Vanilla Islands Organization (VIO) is supported and developed in partnership with 7 tourism boards of Indian Ocean area, namely: