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Responsible Tourism News South Africa

Seychelles advocates for sustainable tourism at SIDS4 conference

During the recent SIDS4 Conference in Antigua and Barbuda, Sylvestre Radegonde, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, participated in a tourism event focused on regenerative tourism for resilience. Following the opening statement by the Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Minister Radegonde highlighted the unique challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and expressed optimism about regenerative tourism as a sustainable path forward.
Source: ©dibrova via
Source: ©dibrova via 123RF

He outlined Seychelles’ sustainable tourism initiatives, which align with the principles of the regenerative pathway. This pathway includes three core elements: ecosystem restoration, risk adaptation and resilience building, and active involvement and participation from both locals and tourists.

The event featured a panel discussion titled “Regenerative Tourism for Resilience: Policy, Practice and Finance". During the session, Minister Radegonde provided an overview of the progress made since the release of the “Preparing for Climate Change in the Tourism Sector – A Guide for Hotels and Guesthouses” in 2020.

Implementation of climate actions

He noted that 60% of accommodation establishments are using the guide to implement climate actions as part of their daily operations, while 40% are collaborating with environmental NGOs that are carrying out climate mitigation and adaptation projects at the community level.

Additionally, the guide is also being used by tourism accommodation establishments that are already Sustainable Seychelles certified or have applied for the certification programme, which is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The certification programme’s criteria consist of five themes directly linked to climate change mitigation and adaptation, which are waste management, energy efficiency, water management, conservation and community involvement.

Blue bond for marine conservation

Minister Radegonde also discussed the issuance of the first blue bond back in 2018, designed to support marine conservation and sustainable fisheries while fostering tourism development. He elaborated on how the bond’s proceeds have been instrumental in expanding marine protected areas, improving fisheries governance and advancing the country’s blue economy.

This innovative financing approach has enabled Seychelles to support various sustainable projects, contributing to the diversification and stability of its economy, particularly in tourism and coastal development.

On the sidelines of the SIDS4 Conference, Minister Radegonde met with UN Tourism executive director, Zoritsa Urosevic, to further discuss collaborative opportunities in tourism development.

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