New tourism establishments that are to be built on the inner islands of Seychelles will consists of only 24 rooms due to a new moratorium that has been imposed, according to the tourism department.
The moratorium was mantained along with approval of various amendments made to the Tourism Accommodation Policy in the last cabinet of ministers meeting of 2018, a meeting chaired by President Danny Faure.
New tourism establishments are limited to 24 rooms only until a carrying capacity study and land use plan is adopted, said the tourism department.
The moratorium will not be applicable to the outer islands and reclaimed islands. The development on these islands will be based on the recommendations of the Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) study that will be conducted by the authorities.
The tourism department said that the developers that have got approval to build their hotels with more than 24 rooms before the moratorium will be able to do so. There are those also which will not go forward with building more than 24 rooms as per their initial plan and these will be redistributed to other new hotels to be built.
In an interview with SNA, the chairperson of the Seychelles Tourism and Hospitality Association, Sybille Cardon, said that it is not about hotels having many rooms, but we need to concentrate on those that we have already.
The projected tourism statistics for the year 2019 does not reflect big changes compared to 2018. Therefore we need as a country to take this opportunity to raise our standards and services we offered per rooms, said Cardon.
Tourism remains the top contributor to the economy of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. From the start of 2018 to December 9, Seychelles had welcomed 334,719 visitors to its shores.
The policy states that the development of accommodation establishments must suit the purpose of the local environment.
In order to promote diversification within the tourism portfolio, it is important that the architectural design fit the environment where it is to be situated, said the tourism department.
Another amendment to the policy relates to qualifications. The policy stipulates that all relevant persons within an accommodation establishment should have background knowledge, qualifications and expertise which would enable them to successfully manage the business.
This will ensure that service provided by accommodation establishments is to an acceptable standard, with focus not only placed on the large establishments but rather across the board.
Cardon, said that it is good that the policy is putting emphasis on background knowledge to enter into this sector.
Some people enter into this sector without proper knowledge of what this industry requires and in the process forget about the good service that is needed to be given, said Cardon.
A new statement has also been inserted in the accommodation policy stating that tourism and residential accommodation shall not coexist within the same complex, unit, block or same plot of land.
Only the manager’s/owner’s house will be allowed to be located on the same parcel. However separate access will still be required for both, said the tourism department.
According to statistics from the tourism ministry, there are about 589 tourism establishments in operation accounting for 6,332 rooms. Currently there are available spaces for an additional 3000 rooms in the tourism sector.
Source: Seychelles News Agency