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Session3 02 Janice Bristol

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Presentation made at the Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States conference, 23-24 November 2017, Seychelles. A partnership of the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation, IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, University of Seychelles, Paris Tourism Sorbonne (IREST), and Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

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Session3 02 Janice Bristol

  1. 1. Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label • Janice Bristol • Tourism Department
  2. 2. The Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy 2012 identified a number of actions for the tourism sector to ensure amore sustainable industry. • Encourage and promote the development of a certification programme to help mainstream sustainability practices in the hospitality industry. • The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) aims to address this need. • Its development was funded through a GEF Grant to Seychelles government, to mainstream biodiversity conservation in the tourism and fisheries sectors. Origins of the SSTL
  3. 3. • The SSTL is a sustainable tourism management and certification programme designed specifically for use in Seychelles. • It is user friendly and designed to inspire more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business. • It provides a set of standards to guide sustainability improvements in hotels. • The SSTL was developed over several years through research, stakeholder discussion and local piloting. • The criteria used in the assessment are of international standard but their development has drawn on local knowledge What is the SSTL?
  4. 4. • The Brand Name: ‘Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label’ • The Slogan ‘ Safeguarding Seychelles for tomorrow’ • The inspiration for the logo was the Seychelles Giant Tortoise 
 SSTL Branding
  5. 5. SSTL Vision • That every hotel enterprise in Seychelles integrates sustainability practices in their business operations SSTL Mission • To encourage hotel enterprises to mainstream sustainability practices into their business operations to safeguard the biodiversity and culture of Seychelles. 

  6. 6. Hotels The environmentStaff & guests THE SSTL IS ALL ABOUT CONNECTING… Community
  7. 7. There are 5 basic steps in the certification process 1. Internal Audit 2. Application 3. External Audit 4. Verification 5. Award Steps to Becoming Certified
  8. 8. 1. Internal Audit • Interested hotels review the label criteria and undertake an internal assessment with their staff to see if they meet the basic “must” list of criteria. • The SSTL team offers free technical assistance for smaller establishments (below 15 rooms) • Larger hotels may enlist the services of a professional to help them review and meet all of the criteria.
  9. 9. 2. Application • Hotels who feel they meet all the “must” criteria and are ready to be certified apply for the SSTL by email or letter and attach a copy of their internal audit results. • (application fee is 400 Euros for 1-24 rooms, 600 Euros for 25-50 rooms and 1000 Euros 51+ rooms) 3. Assessment (External Audit) • The application and Audit results from the hotel are reviewed by the SSTL team. • If deemed complete, a trained independent assessor is identified and the date for the External Audit is set with the hotel.
  10. 10. 4. Verification • External audit assessment forms are verified for completeness and scoring of each section is reviewed. • There are two possible outcomes; Approved or Pending PENDING: If an applicant does not meet all of the basic criteria they are given a grace period to improve their score Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label
  11. 11. 5. Award • An Awards Panel meets every two months or when necessary to review the recommendations made by the Standards and Regulations Division • The Panel confirms the recommendation unless irregularities are identified. • A written appeal from the hotel may be made to the Principal Secretary of the Tourism Department. • The appeal will be reviewed by the Panel and a reassessment by a different assessor may be requested
  12. 12. There are 3 basic things a hotel must do to earn SSTL certification: 1. Fulfil the 24 “must” criteria (SSTL has 105 in all) 2. Achieve a minimum score for each theme: • 5 points for small hotels (1- 24rooms ), • 6 for medium sized (25 – 51 rooms) • 7 for large (51+ rooms) 3. Score an additional 6 points in any area Getting Certified
  13. 13. The criteria is divided into 8 themes 1. Management This section requires some documentation that will ensure the hotel’s sustainability initiatives are undertaken systematically. • It requires that progress is monitored over time, and that opportunities for further improvement are identified. • That the practices are communicated to the staff, guests and other stakeholders. The SSTL Criteria
  14. 14. 2. Waste Waste poses potentially serious environmental impacts and risks to health. On small islands, landfill waste toxins can easily leach into the soil and eventually the sea. In Seychelles landfills are mainly on the coast. This section seeks to encourage the practice of Reducing, reusing and recycling waste as effective ways of cutting business costs. • Waste reduction is a widely understood and a visible form of sustainable practice and presents a good opportunity to foster support from guests, staff and the community.
  15. 15. 3. Water Seychelles suffers from periods serious draught which is a challenge for the hospitality industry and the locals. The broad aim of water related practices is to reduce the overall impact on fresh water supplies as well as the potential forwater pollution by: • Reducing the amount of fresh water used by hotels • Through conservation and rainwater collection • Exploring options for water re-use and recycling.
  16. 16. 4. Energy Energy comprises of up to 50% of a hotel’s utility costs. In Seychelles 60% of the total energy consumption is from industries and tourism is the largest industry. Energy reduction practices consist of • ‘management’ practices that change staff and /or guest behaviour in order to reduce energy use. • Encouraging people to turn off electrical appliances and lights when not in use. Change linen/towels less frequently • Encouraging hoteliers to opt for LED and other energy efficient appliances, alternative energy supplies
  17. 17. 5. Staff Staff and guest-related practices are of significant importance to the sustainability of a hotel and of tourism in Seychelles. • High staff turnover is a big challenge for the industry in Seychelles • Dependence on expatriate workers can affect the guest experience and creates leakage of the hard earned foreign currency The criteria in this section aim to recognise fair treatment of staff and staffing opportunities given to local people to reduce staff turnover and encourage loyalty.
  18. 18. 6. Conservation While most sustainability practices focus on reducing the negative impact of a business on the environment or the community in which they operate, We also recognise that an important part of sustainable tourism is to encourage good Corporate Social Responsibility. This section encourages hotels to make positive contributions to the local community and to local Conservation activities.
  19. 19. 7. Community The criteria under this section encourages hotels to be good corporate citizens by participating in community projects, favouring local produce and manufactured products to bring more benefits down the value chain and Keeping records of community involvement to share with guests, staff and other stakeholders 8. Guests Satisfied guests will recommend Seychelles to their friends and word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing. These criteria recognise the importance of guest satisfaction to the sustainability of the business and encourages hotels to make necessary efforts to ensure that the guest experience matches his expectations
  20. 20. • Implementation of the label started in June 2012. • We presently have 15 certified hotels • The five original hotels have been recertified at the end of their two year certification. • The Tourism Department, in collaboration with Sustainability4Seychelles developed an educational and awareness building programme. In 2014, workshops were organized for hoteliers on La Digue, Praslin and Mahe. • A new brochure has been developed for the SSTL and circulated to all hotels. Where are we now ?
  21. 21. • In December 2014 training was organized for 8 new SSTL assessors by the Tourism Department through funding from UNDP bringing the total certified assessors to 18. • The Tourism Department through funding from UNDP is offering 50 free audits (and registration) for the first 50 hotels that apply for certification. This has generated interest in the label. • The Tourism Department has signed an MOU with Fair Trade Tourism in July 2015. Amongst the benefits is that the FTT is selling all SSTL certified hotels as sustainable tourism products of Africa at the various local and international trade fairs that they attend.(FTT is based in South Africa) (http://www.fairtrade.travel/) November 27, 2017SELLING THE SEYCHELLES IN EUROPE
  22. 22. How to increase Applications? • Get international recognition for the label to increase its credibility. (SSTL is already recognized by the FTT, obtained Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognition) • Develop a more effective marketing plan/strategy for the label that will target the hotels but also the DMCs and international Tour Operators. ( this is under discussion with the STB) • Integrate the SSTL criteria in the classification and Seychelles Secrets criteria with the aim of ensuring that all our resorts and high end small tourism establishments are sustainable tourism products. • Continue to look at possible economic incentives that will increase interest in the label.
  23. 23. THANK YOU!

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