A small Seychelles delegation was recently in China, attending the 14th Inter-Islands Tourism Policy (ITOP) forum that was held between November 2-4 in Sanya of the Hainan Province.
The ITOP was held under the theme, Low Carbon Economy and Island Tourism, and it had as discussion three main topics, which included:
– How to develop low-carbon tourism products
– How to raise the awareness of tourists about environmental protection
– How to achieve sustainable development of an island economy through government policy-making
Members of the delegation who were attending this three-day forum included Deputy CEO of Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Elsia Grandcourt, Director of the Mayor Office of Victoria Rassin Vannier, and Principal Coordinator for Operational Courses of the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) Murla Gabriel.
Seychelles was participating in the forum at the invitation of the Director General of Haikou Foreign Affairs Office of the Haikou Municipal Government, Han Bin, to the office of the Mayor of Victoria.
Relations between Victoria and Haikou date back to 2007, and exchanges between the two cities have brought benefits to Victoria in terms of materials to decorate the town.
The island of Hainan is an emerging international tourist destination, whose characteristics are similar to that of the Seychelles islands, with a tropical climate.
The Mayor of Victoria, Marie-Antoinette Alexis, decided to extend this relation to STB as she believes that the country may also benefit from certain aspects of tourism.
Following the forum, the delegation met with Mr. Han Bin, with whom various points concerning Seychelles’ tourism were discussed.
From the discussions, STB hopes to be able to further work with the Haikou Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office in terms of:
– Promoting Seychelles to Chinese tourists
– Attending the Chinese major trade fairs
– Having artisan experts train and provide training in handicraft skills using coconut and other resources that Seychelles has available
– Assisting STA through the Ministry of Education in student exchanges and learning the Chinese language (suitable for tour guiding)
Members of the delegation were also invited to a guided tour at the Hainan Yingli Solar Photovoltaic company that depicted one of the alternative sources of energy the country is making use of, contributing to a low-carbon economy.