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. The SSTL is a Sustainable Tourism Management and Certification program 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 program has been developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program 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the Ministry of Environment in the preparation of the Vision 21 which is the former Tourism Strategic Plan and has now been replaced by the Seychelles Tourism Master Plan 2012-2020 whose main objective is promoting Responsible Tourism.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 program is now being implemented and promoted by the Seychelles Tourism Board.
The program was officially launched during 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 program is one of the main sponsors for the SSTL presence at 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’s commitment to promoting sustainable tourism and what better timing than when the world is celebrating World Responsible Tourism Day. We are here because the UNDP GEF program 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.