The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) which is an initiative of the Government of Seychelles and is being implemented by its Ministry responsible for tourism has obtained Recognition Status with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This is a great step forward for the SSTL which in 2015 also partnered with the Fair Trade Tourism of Africa in its endeavour to enhance local and international credibility and visibility for this label.
GSTC is the body which aims to promote sustainable tourism through the establishment and management of global sustainable tourism standards. The application for Recognition Status and its process took a little over a year to be completed and involved the reviewing of the SSTL criteria for alignment with the GSTC standards. This Recognition Status means that all SSTL certified establishments will now be included in the GSTC directory of responsible products and be promoted via the GSTC website bringing visibility to their businesses.
The label which was launched in 2011 received its first applications in 2012. To date it has certified 13 establishments with a list of establishments eager to join. Although initial uptake was slow, 2015 saw an increase in interest after a series of awareness programmes conducted on the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
Tuesday 31st of January saw the recertification of 3 hotels namely Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay, Constance Ephelia Resort and Hanneman Holiday Apartments. Two hotels received their certification for the first time and these were Hilton Northolme and Allamanda Double Tree. In a short ceremony to hand over the certificates Minister Loustau-Lalanne praised the hotels for their efforts towards sustainability and said that it was fitting that 5 hotels in our small country were being recognised for sustainability only 10 days after the United Nations declared 2017 as the International year for Sustainable Tourism for Development. He encouraged the hotels to continue with their efforts and expressed his wish to see more hotels certified during this important year. Also present for the ceremony was the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune and Sinha Levkovic Director of standard and regulation for the Tourism department.
The ministry remains committed, to promoting and assisting the accommodation sector become more sustainable and will continue to provide support to hotels through technical assistance, internal audits for the smaller establishments.