The event took place at the Tourism Department Headquarters in Mont Fleuri on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, where. Mr. Paul Lebon, Director General for Destination Planning and Development, and Mrs. Sinha Levkovic, Director for the Industry Planning and Development Unit, and members of her team were also in attendance.
The department is ready to engage its partners to adopt a uniform grading system in Seychelles as of September 2023, in line with the ‘Tourism Development Standard Regulations’ – a new law to be published in the Official Gazette on July 1, 2023.
The national classification program, which has been in the works since 2016, aims to increase industry standards and professionalism while improving the destination’s market value.
The program features a well-established grading system that will inform guests about accommodation standards and what to expect from the product offering prior to making a purchase.
Mrs. Sherin Francis stated in the press conference that the national classification program will feature 2 categories and the grade will be valid for 2 years from the date of issuing unless cancelled by the department.
The first category is the Star Grading, which applies to hotels of 15 rooms and more, as well as island resorts of all sizes. This program is mandatory for hotels of 51 rooms and more, while it remains voluntary for hotels of 50 rooms to 16 rooms. The second category is the Seychelles Secret brand for hotels of 15 rooms or less, as well as self-catering and guest houses of all sizes.
“This initiative has been in the works for quite some time. With the legislation ready for publication and our team trained, it is time to begin implementation. Our industry’s survival will be determined by our ability to compete. As Minister Radegonde often says:
“Seychelles is not the only pretty girl in town.”
It is critical to remember that one of the major factors influencing a visitor’s choice of a destination is the standard of facilities and services on offer, and this program will allow us to exert some control over the products available in Seychelles,” said Mrs. Francis.
There will be 3 levels of awards for the Seychelles Secrets brand based on the available facilities and services. Establishments will be classed as Seychelles Secrets Gold, Seychelles Secrets Silver, or Seychelles Secrets Bronze.
Each establishment will receive a plaque displaying the attained rating, as well as an official letter.
During the 2-year term, the Tourism Department will conduct monitoring visits to ensure that standards are maintained. Regrading will be subject to a formal assessment prior to the expiry of the certification.
Establishments will be notified if their standards decline and a grace period will be granted to correct deficiencies. The department may suspend or cancel an award if the establishment no longer meets the qualifying standards of the grading system.
Mrs. Sinha Levkovic, on her part, stated that the industry planning and development team will begin contacting partners in the coming weeks to begin basic preparations for implementation in September 2023.