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Session8 03 Veronique_Espitalier-Noel


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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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Session8 03 Veronique_Espitalier-Noel

  1. 1. Approach and Processes Developed by the Indian Ocean Commission for Sustainable Tourism in Indian Ocean • Véronique Espitalier-Noël Officer in charge • Indian Ocean Commission
  2. 2. IOC’s actions in sustainable tourism • Touristic Cooperation Strategy Study • Proposal for a Regional Indian Ocean Sustainable tourism certification label for touristic accommodations • A pledge for Regional Air connectivity improvement • Regional Cultural Products enhancement • SmartFish Eco-tourism Evaluation and Support program
  3. 3. Touristic Cooperation Strategy Study between Members States of IOC (2014-2015) The Touristic Cooperation Strategy Study, funded by the European Development Fund (EDF), had 3 objectives: the definition of viable and competitive regional touristic products ; a strategy concerning priority markets ; an optimum organization of the touristic sector. Facts from the study: Niche tourism and cruises could contribute to the growth of the sector up to 100 000 additional tourists in 2020, in addition to the growth of « classic tourism».
  4. 4. Roadmap for a Touristic Cooperation Strategy between Members States of the IOC (June 16th 2015) • To harmonize quality service standards and classification, especially for touristic accommodations in connection with activities of standardization in progress in the Members States. • To define needs in professional training in the standardization area as a priority • To develop and commercialize products from touristic cooperation in line with existing synergies, especially pilot actions of the UCCIOI in the sustainable, responsible and fair tourism in collaboration with the Vanilla Islands Association • To lean more on the Vanilla Islands Association for the implementation of the strategy, especially concerning regional products. Actions can to be implemented in the framework of clubs, created in accordance with the thematic of the strategy.
  5. 5. Regional Indian Ocean Sustainable tourism certification label Observations of the Touristic Cooperation Strategy Study in the Member States in IOC : • The arrival of tourists in 2020 will be greater than 2 millions or even 2,4 millions (in 2016 arrivals reached 2,4 millions in Indianocéanie) • The recent acceleration of online booking for touristic destinations • The need to create bounds between the islands through a common touristic tool to foster regional inter-islands tourism Touristic accommodations in the Member States of IOC : • Many national initiatives on sustainable tourism certification in the region • But different levels • Some territories don’t have certification label
  6. 6. Relevance of a regional certification label • To assist the development of touristic activity and new arrivals of tourists • To support inter-islands regional tourism through: • A common touristic tool: a marketing power for all the Member States of IOC, reinforcing the attractivity of the region • A regional approach for a positive amplifier effect on the entire area • To give guaranties to visitors on a reliable sustainable touristic offer
  7. 7. Objectives To harmonize the standards to ensure continuity in the quality • To position the Indian Ocean as an integrated and unique touristic destination, promoting inter-islands itineraries • To develop a touristic offer for regional products contributing to the rise of sustainable touristic offer notably through ecotourism niche-products • To promote and share expertise and individual capacities of each island • To protect the environment of vulnerable Islands States and the sustainable development through responsible resources utilization
  8. 8. Methodology 1-Creation of the certification label Selection of a consulting firm: inventory of existing systems and specific needs in each territory Study in the 5 Islands including: Ste-Marie, Rodrigues, Praslin, La Digue, Anjouan, Mohéli. A 6 months study Suggestions of an evaluation grid for the creation of the label Setting up of a regional working group: will define the criteria of the certification label Members: 2 representatives per Member States, from public and private sectors Phase of elaboration : 18 months Workshops : Regional starting workshop at IOC National monitoring workshops : 10 workshops, 2 per Member States Regional workshop for final stage of the certification label
  9. 9. Methodology 2- Experimental implementation Training of auditors : Trainings of one day per Member States done by the consulting firm Auditors already trained on touristic accommodation certifications National workshops to inform touristic operators Realization of 100 audits in 5 Members States: Sample of 100 touristic accommodations Self-assessments to be completed by touristic accommodations before the audits Certification committee : 1 per Member State Members: 8 professionals from touristic sector + 1 IOC observer + 1 observer from Vanilla Islands Association 2 certification committees each year during 3 years Cooperation partners: regional partners as UCCIOI and VIA, national partners as national offices of tourism, privileged partners as Mauritius Standard Bureau and additional partners as Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Fundation
  10. 10. A pledge for Regional Air connectivity improvement Indian Ocean situation : Limited direct flights leading to long, expensive, multi-stop flights between neighbouring countries hindering the region’s ability to attract additional tourists. IOC giving an impetus to improve air connectivity: • May 2013: International Conference on Regional Air Connectivity issues • January 2014: A pledge “Les ailes de l’Indianocéanie” published • Creation of the “Alliance Vanille”, association of airlines companies For example: to travel from Comoros to Seychelles there is no direct flight so travelers have to take 2 different airlines companies and travel almost 24 hours. An optimized Regional Air Connectivity could benefit sustainable tourism through better airline liaisons.
  11. 11. The development of Sustainable Regional Cultural Tourism Products « Patrimoines Partagés: Traits communs en Indianocéanie » « Shared Heritage: Common features in Indian Ocean » Published in 2016 11 academics researchers on the theme “Tourism and Heritage” Analysis of Common Features of Indian ocean Heritage Thematics: architecture, music, painting, culinary art, traditional trading, literature, popular belief, environment… Each of these thematic : similarities of practices from an island to another are pointed out. Common heritage brings opportunities for the current promotion of tourism in the region.
  12. 12. The development of Sustainable Regional Cultural Tourism Products (2) Indian Ocean historic Image Library Developed by Le Conseil Départemental de la Réunion • To promote the Indian Ocean iconography • Extension of the Image Library in all the Member States of IOC • The IHOI, it’s 100 000 identified pictures, 20 000 pictures in free consultation about our 5 islands from the 17th century, and 30 millions pages viewed to date. • Digital tool for the promotion of Tourism through iconography: • Heritage landscapes • Touristic sites • Pedagogical approach of Indian Ocean history through images IOC and IHOI are working with the 5 Members States to expand the Image library and collect new data
  13. 13. An example of action in Comoros: Eco-tourism Evaluation and Support program SmartFish –COI (2013) • Sustainable tourism as an alternative source of income for fishermen and their communities • Goals: o Strengthening the capacity of fishermen to work permanently in the tourism sector o Assisting the Tourism Office of Comoros to reinforce their marketing strategy • Identified products : • Turtle watching on Itsamia (Mohéli) • Observation of Livingstone Bats in Mohéli • Partnerships with existing hotels for the development of activities benefiting women and their associations such as craft shop within the hotel property or nearby . Other actions: sustainable fisheries in Rodrigues –octopuss- . Extension of the national program of energy efficency of Mauritius to our other islands, with the involvement of the hotels.
  14. 14. Thank you for your attention