Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Industry News

WTTC 2015: Seychelles to introduce tourist cap

The Seychelles is planning a cap on annual visitor numbers to maintain the destination’s sustainability.

Speaking at the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit, Seychelles minister of tourism and culture Alain St Ange said work was already underway to come up with a final sum. He said it was being introduced as a way of safeguarding the future of the island which has seen growing numbers of tourists visit the island.

St Ange said: “We don’t want to demean the value of the Seychelles. We’re reaching 250,000 people, six times the number of people who live there. We need to be very careful so a cap will be introduced.”

He added a ban had already been placed on the building of large hotel developments with just locally run small properties now granted permission to start operations. 

PEAK Adventure Travel chief executive Darrell Wade said the industry needs to take the issue of sustainable travel more seriously as it is only going to become more of an issue.

He said: “I feel very guilty as it is part of the industry I’m in and we’re not taking it anywhere seriously enough.

“We can talk about it and we should but as a collective industry I think we have to face up to it.”

Wade added with 1.8 billion people predicted to be travelling by 2030, the issue is only going to get more pressing and more like to come to the attention of the green industry. 

He warned that companies will need to get their shares accepted by green indices or face investors moving away from stocks that are no longer considered an ethical buy by investors. 

He added governments could become increasingly proactive in legislating against unclean companies while shareholder activists could also begin to emerge. 

While St Ange warned that small islands will be worst affected by global warming, he also urged delegates to remember the good tourism does, in particular bringing money to otherwise impoverished communities. He added tourism is the Seychelles’ single biggest industry.   |

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