The Board of Directors of the Seychelles Tourism Board, acting on Seychelles President James Michel’s message for World Tourism Day 2011, has adopted and pledged its commitment to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The Global Code of Ethics is a set of principles and guidelines to develop tourism in a responsible, sustainable, and ethical way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits while limiting the negative impacts.
The adoption of the code by the Seychelles Tourism Board reaffirms the government’s commitment for a sustainable tourism industry that protects the environment and cultural heritage and is for a tourism industry that benefits the local population at all levels of society. It also reinforces the President’s message, which called for maximum Seychellois participation in the tourism industry and for increasing Seychellois ownership at all levels of tourism. The Seychelles President’s message to further integrate the Seychellois Creole culture in tourism products and services by showcasing friendliness, colorful art, authentic Creole cuisine, as well social cohesion and harmonious living, are values which the code promotes and which Seychelles is already practicing. It is also in line with the year’s Tourism Day theme, “Tourism – linking culture,” to break down barriers across cultures and foster tolerance, peace, understanding, and mutual respect.
This declaration by the board is also a strong endorsement of what Seychelles is already practicing in many ways, as sustainability practices are already being implemented by many tourism operators and stakeholders in their daily operations. This was further reinforced by the board, which also provided its full support for the adoption of the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label as a mechanism for integrating sustainability in tourism establishments, which is very much in line with the principles of the code of ethics.
“The adoption of the Global Code of Ethics and sustainability label further demonstrates our pledge to develop our tourism industry that is sustainable, responsible and ethical. It is an affirmation of our values for developing our tourism industry and this declaration by board was simply a logical step,” said Alain St.Ange, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.
The code aims to promote a tourism industry that is equitable, responsible, and sustainable whose benefits should be shared by all sectors of society in the context of an open and liberalized international economy. The code was first adopted in 1999 by the general assembly of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and later endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001. The UNWTO has been encouraging all its members to adopt the principles and values outlined in the code as their guiding framework in developing their tourism industry. It has also set up a mechanism to promote its implementation of the code by different stakeholders in tourism.
The Seychelles Tourism Academy, which falls under the management of the Tourism Board, is also set to adopt the Global Code of Ethics at its next management meeting.