SSTF spearheads sustainable tourism and climate action initiative |08 September 2023
The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) is amping up its efforts to enhance awareness and cultivate the capacity necessary for a climate-resilient and sustainable tourism industry.
The non-profit, non-governmental organisation has recently secured a grant of R131,061 from the National Grants Fund to finance a project that targets small and medium-sized businesses, as well as students from the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) and the University of Seychelles.
Mariette Dine, the project coordinator, explained that the primary objective is to raise awareness among stakeholders about their role in addressing climate change and to provide practical guidance on implementing and communicating sustainable tourism practices within their respective domains.
Furthermore, the project aims to equip them with the tools needed to adapt to climate change impacts.
As part of the project's activities, SSTF is organising a study tour programme in commemoration of World Tourism Day on September 27.
“The study tour seeks to heighten awareness about the tourism industry's vulnerability to climate change impacts and shed light on the Ministry of Tourism's efforts in this regard,” Ms Dine elaborated.
The tour will also serve as a platform to showcase best practices in tourism and how certain businesses are actively mitigating climate change.
Additionally, it will engage students in practical ways to promote sustainable tourism and initiate climate action within their respective fields.
Among the institutions included in the study tour is the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, renowned for its commitment to environmental preservation and sustainability. During their visit, students will gain firsthand insights into industry best practices and challenges across various departments. The programme will also feature talks and presentations by guest speakers from the department of Tourism, the Health and Sustainability section at Four Seasons, and SSTF representative, Rosetta Alcindor.
The study group will also embark on two interactive site visits in the Baie Lazare area, providing a unique perspective on small business owners within the tourism industry. SSTF previously conducted a successful study tour in 2019.
Taking its commitment a step further, SSTF will provide training to approximately 45 small and medium-sized tourism enterprises across Mahé and Praslin to support their application for the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL). This training will be conducted over two workshops aimed at raising awareness about Seychelles' Nationally Determined Contribution, its national commitments to adaptation, and climate change mitigation.
Moreover, the institutions will receive training on how to effectively communicate the SSTL.
In order to facilitate this, the SSTF will be designing and distributing an informative booklet for tourists visiting Seychelles. This booklet will serve as a guide for travellers seeking the most sustainable and responsible experiences in Seychelles, covering topics such as NGOs, waste management, and support for local conservation initiatives. The booklet will also be made available to destination management companies (DMCs) and tour operators for distribution to visitors prior to their trips.
SSTF’s vision is to make Seychelles an international best practice example for sustainable tourism through an integrated collaborative approach between public, private sector, academia and NGOs.