Three tourism establishments – Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino, Hanneman Holiday Residence and Ephelia Resort – have been re-certified with the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL).
The general managers of the three establishments received their re-certification certificate by the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange in a ceremony yesterday afternoon at the ministry’s conference room at Espace building.
Also present were the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune and the director for certification and standards Sinha Levkovic.
The three establishments were certified in 2012 after accumulating the required 60 points. They were re-assessed in 2014 and as they scored the 10 extra points required by SSTL, this qualified them for re-certification.
The SSTL is a sustainable tourism management and certification programme designed specifically for use in Seychelles. It is voluntary, user-friendly and designed to inspire more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business. The SSTL is presently applicable to hotels of all sizes.
The vision of the SSTL is that every hotel enterprise in Seychelles integrates sustainability practices in their business operations. Its mission is to encourage hotels in Seychelles to mainstream sustainability practices into their business operations to safeguard the biodiversity and culture of Seychelles.
“It is always important for us to look at what we plan to do in Seychelles vis-à-vis tourism. Sustainable tourism is what we need to embark on if we really want to consolidate our tourism industry for the long term,” said Minister St Ange in a short address for the occasion.
He expressed his admiration to the three establishments for having followed what the Creative Industry and National Events Agency (Cinea) has been asking in trying to have a framework in their management that also takes care of what Seychelles says it is.
The minister said sustainable tourism is an approach which is environmentally-friendly and that he looks forward to the establishments becoming good custodians of what we have in this country so that visitors in the long run can also see what we say we are today.
He mentioned the need for more coverage and publicity for such establishments to say they have this framework which he describes as the only way to have more people to join.
“We need to give you an extra drive, an extra push in your marketing to say you are environmentally-friendly because you followed a sustainable tourism label framework,” said Minister St Ange.
Describing what the SSTL entails and going through a brief history of it, PS Lafortune explained that the three establishments present were the first three hotels that applied for that label and their re-certification process they went through.
She urged other hotels to look up to them as examples and embark on the certification process.
Tourism establishments should obtain a minimum of 60 points to certify for the Sustainable Tourism Label. Large tourism establishments have to gain 62 points out of 162; medium establishments 54 out of 162 and small ones 46 out of 162.