The Seychelles tourism board showcases sustainable tourism programme at the world travel market in London

The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) is for the first time being promoted at the World Travel Market (WTM) with the support of the UNDP GEF. Mrs Philomena Hollanda is personally in London to promote and to showcase the Seychelles Programme. The SSTL is a Sustainable Tourism Management and Certification programme designed specifically for use in Seychelles. It is voluntary user friendly and specifically designed to inspire more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business. The programme has been developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme under the Global Environment Facility (UNDP GEF) and it falls under the UNDP-GEF funded project which is Mainstreaming Biodiversity in the Tourism Sector. It is aligned with the GSTC ‘s  Criteria (Global Sustainable Tourism  Council ) but   has been drawn on local knowledge.

The concept behind the development of the Seychelles Tourism Label (SSTL) originated from the former Ministry of Tourism and Transport which is now the new Ministry for Tourism and Culture in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment in the preparation of the Vision 21 which is the former Tourism Strategic Plan and has now been replaced by the Seychelles Tourism Master Plan 2012-2020 whose main objective is promoting Responsible Tourism. The SSTL programme is now being implemented and promoted by the Seychelles Tourism Board.

The programme was officially launched during the Tourism week in September 2011 and it officially opened its application in June this year. The local UNDP- GEF local office who has been facilitating the implementation of the programme is one of the main Sponsor for the SSTL presence at the World Travel Market.

So far, three hotels have been officially audited, certified and awarded with the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label. They are Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort & Casino, Constance Ephelia Resort and  Hannnenman Self Catering Apartments.

The target from now until June next year is to get at least 15 hotels certified and awarded  with the label  as our next step is the creation of a new  link on the Seychelles Tourism  Board website to promote Responsible Tourism. This link will promote all hotels which have been certified and awarded with the SSTL Label.

“We are hoping that the presence of the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label at WTM 2012 will further reaffirm the Seychelles’ commitment to promoting Sustainable Tourism and what a better timing  than when the world  is celebrating the World  Responsible Tourism Day. We are here because the UNDP GEF programme has supported this effort and wanted the world to know that Seychelles remains a serious partner in Sustainable Tourism” Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism said.

This is another step taken by Seychelles in its strive to promote sustainable tourism. For more information about the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Certification Programme please visit the website at www.seychelles.travel/sstl/