Sustainability is the current and future concern of the Seychelles Tourism Board. It’s crucial for a country made up of 115 islands that is reliant on visitors for nearly 30% of its GDP.
The Indian Ocean nation has adopted the Nature Needs Half vision, which protects more than 50% of its total land area and 30% of its marine environment, and has pledged to restrict the tourist beds per island. As well as a moratorium imposed on the development of large hotels on Mahe, for example, new builds are restricted to only five rooms per developer on La Digue and 15 per developer on Cerf Island. An Environment Impact Assessment – based on provision of electricity, adequate water supply and sewage disposal facilities, to determine whether building is approved – governs each new project.
In spite – or perhaps because – of restrictions, visitor numbers are up. UK arrivals numbered 7,286 from January to September 2, 2018, a 16% increase compared to the previous year.
Britain is the Seychelles’ fourth largest European incoming market, following Germany, France and Italy. And between January and September 2018, European visitation grew by 7%.
Didier Dogley, minister of tourism, and Sherin Francis, chief executive of the tourism board, will be on the Seychelles’ stand to explain the islands’ commitment to developing more energy from renewable sources, as well as the recent ban on single-use plastic plates, cups and cutlery, and an agreement to preserve 210,000 sq km of ocean along with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.