Fair Trade Tourism and Seychelles join hands

Filed in Beaches, Certification, Destination Africa, News, Seychelles by on September 5, 2015
Constance Ephelia_HillsideVilla1

Hillside Villa at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles – pic © Constance Hotels

Fair Trade Tourism’s move into Africa has been given a boost with the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the organisation and the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL). This enables six of the Indian Ocean island nation’s leading hotels to be incorporated into Fair Trade Holidays, signifying global best-practice tourism.

The six luxury products are:

  • Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino, Mahe
  • Banyan Tree Seychelles Resort, Mahe
  • Constance Ephelia Resort, Mahe
  • Hanneman’s Holiday Residence, Mahe
  • Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Mahe
  • Heliconia Grove, Praslin

All stand testament to the efforts made by the SSTL to incorporate mainstream sustainability practices into tourism operations in the Seychelles in order to help safeguard the country’s rich culture and sensitive biodiversity.

The MRA signed between SSTL and Fair Trade Tourism will allow Fair Trade Tourism approved tour operators to incorporate the properties into Fair Trade Holidays – holiday packages which contain a minimum 50% of Fair Trade Tourism products.

Fair Trade Tourism is a South African non-profit organisation promoting sustainable responsible tourism in southern Africa and beyond. It grows awareness about responsible tourism to travellers; assists tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and facilitates a world-renowned certification programme.

“FTT’s certification programme was developed just over 10 years ago and became the first tourism certification programme in Africa to be recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council in December 2011,” said Fair Trade Tourism Managing Director Nivashnee Naidoo at an event to mark the signing of the MRA held in Sandton, Johannesburg on Thursday July 23 2015.

“Our MRA with the Seychelles is another step forward in our mission to grow sustainable tourism best-practice on the continent, and follows hot on the heels of our expansion into Mozambique in May this year and Madagascar in September last year,” added Naidoo. “It’s an indication of the synergy which exists between Fair Trade Tourism and the SSTL and is a great stepping stone to broader tourism development in the region,” she said.

The SSTL is a sustainable tourism management and certification programme which has been adopted by the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Seychelles Tourism Board. It evolved from the government’s ground-breaking sustainable tourism growth strategy, known as Vision 21, which states that tourism in Seychelles shall continue to be developed to the highest standards for the optimum social and economic benefit of the Seychellois people, while maintaining a commitment to the protection and conservation of the natural environment and biodiversity.

Applicable to hotels of all sizes, in order to be certified by the SSTL, a hotel needs to demonstrate that it has adopted a minimum number of sustainable business practices.

According to Janice Bristol, quality and standard officer at the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the partnership with Fair Trade Tourism is a proud moment for her country. “Alliances such as this are extremely important for the Seychelles and we are grateful to Fair Trade Tourism for being part of this ground-breaking collaboration,” she said. “The Seychelles is delighted to become part of the Fair Trade Tourism portfolio and is happy to contribute to advancing the organisation’s agenda throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, which we are sure will go from strength to strength,” she added.


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