Delegates were welcomed to Seychelles by the new General Manager of the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, Mr. Andre Borg, where they were first guided to the island conservation society (ICS) office for a brief on the conservation policy of the island.
Representatives from the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) and its subsidiary body, the Institute for Sustainable Development of the Francophonie (IFDD) along with representatives from seven small island developing states namely Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Haiti, Madagascar, Comoros, Guinee Bissau, Seychelles and the representative from the Indian Ocean Commission visited the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa as part of the 3-day program on sustainable tourism hosted by Seychelles.
They were presented with information on the different endemic species found on Silhouette such as one of the world’s rarest mammals, the Seychelles’ sheath-tailed bat also known as “sousouri bannann” in Creole. This was followed by lunch in the comfort of the 19th Century Gran Kaz where the delegates had the opportunity to taste authentic creole dishes prepared using some of the ingredients grown on the island itself.
The highlight of the visit was a tour of the attractive organic Garden which the resort started two years ago. The resort grows a number of herbs such as thyme, purple basil and vegetables such as snake gourd, pumpkin which they then serve in their main restaurant. Mr. Borg stated that it is within their plan is to open a new restaurant that will serve only food grown from the garden.
The hotel also demonstrated how they strive at being self- sufficient through making their own compost from leftovers from the kitchen and using the hydroponics system to grow some of its vegetables such as lettuce. They are aiming to produce their own bottled mineral water next year which would also limit cost in terms of transportation from Mahe to Silhouette and also the number of plastic water bottles on the island.
The visit ended with a symbolical tree planting ceremony where the delegation had the opportunity to plant a palm tree as a reminder of their visit on the island.
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is among 11 tourism establishments that have been awarded the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The label aims to encourage hotels in Seychelles to mainstream sustainability practices into their business operations to safeguard the biodiversity and culture of Seychelles.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).