A leading Western Australian tourism expert says other islands can learn valuable lessons in sustainable tourism development from the Republic of Seychelles.
Curtin University Professor of Tourism, Jack Carlsen, recently visited the idyllic archipelago to prepare a case study for a collaborative project with the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC).
“The Seychelles is one of the best examples of sustainable island tourism in the world, particularly from an ecological and social perspective,” Professor Carlsen said.
“Government and the community have worked together to conserve more than 50 per cent of the terrestrial environment as well as protecting the marine environment upon which the tourism industry depends.”
Professor Carlsen met with Alain St.Ange, the Minister for Tourism and Culture in the Seychelles, to discuss his vision for sustainable tourism in the area.
Professor Carlsen also gathered information regarding the recently endorsed Tourism Masterplan for the Seychelles, as well as the Sustainable Tourism Label Certification Program.
“The Sustainable Tourism Label Certification Program is aimed at encouraging tourism businesses to adopt ecologically sensitive and socially responsible practices,” he said.
“A community-based approach is used to encourage local people to take ownership, create opportunities for locally-owned small business and for locals to be environmental custodians in the Seychelles.
“The Minister for Tourism and Culture remarked that the Seychelles cannot have tourism if it is not sustainable.
“The aim is to ensure that all Seychellois people benefit from tourism through ownership or involvement in small business whilst still encouraging foreign investment to diversify the product offering.
“The Seychelles has always valued and protected its natural environment.
“Activities such as spear fishing have long been banned in the Seychelles.
“With island tourism developing around the world, we can look to the Seychelles as an example on how to successfully balance sustainability with quality tourism development.”
Professor Carlsen is part of the Sustainable Tourism Centre and Curtin Business School.
Megan Meates, Public Relations Consultant, Curtin University
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