Sustainable Travel … to the Seychelles
Last year was officially designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations. This was done in order to raise global awareness about responsible tourism.
Now, here we are in 2018, and global campaigns like #Strawssuck and #Banthebag are in full swing, and, according to Booking.com, 65% of travellers want ecofriendly accommodation. Hotels, resorts, cruise lines, and airlines have pledged to phase out their plastic consumption, while entire cities like Mumbai, and countries like Kenya, have implemented complete bans on plastic.
One eco-friendly destination that is leading by example in sustainable tourism is the Seychelles.
Tucked away in the Indian Ocean, this nation consisting of 115 islands continues to level up with ongoing sustainability initiatives. It was on the ball well before the official year of sustainable tourism, banning plastic bags, cups, cutlery, and Styrofoam packaging in 2016 already, while the Tourism Ministry of the Seychelles started cracking down on large hotel developments for their practises that harmed the environment.
What about plastic straws in the Seychelles? Retailers have been given until January 2019 to discontinue the supply.
This year, North Island won gold at the African Responsible Tourism awards, while Denis Island is set to become the greenest, most sustainable island in the Seychelles – the island recently implemented the first of a four-phase photovoltaic solar power system to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.
The Seychelles has a vast number of natural assets: pristine beaches, tropical forests, mountains, and waterfalls. The biodiversity of the islands can be accessed through its many protected areas, and the latest pioneering marine conservation approach is the first ever “debt-for-nature swap”. This ambitious project – ensured with the help of The Nature Conservancy NGO, and world-famous actor and environmentalist, Leonardo Dicaprio – aims to establish two new protected areas in exchange for some of the national debt of the Seychelles. These new marine parks are set to cover a total surface area of just over 200,000 km², roughly the size of Great Britain.
If you are a globetrotter looking for your next sustainable holiday destination, or are simply craving a well-deserved beach break, there is no reason why you cannot tick off both with a trip to the Seychelles. There are few places in the world where you can take a 30-minute hike to discover breathtaking views and endemic flora and fauna, then another 30 minutes later, find yourself in the water among green turtles, rays, and charismatic crustaceans.