Described as ‘paradise,’ Félicité Island in Seychelles wins sustainable destination award
An aerial view of Félicité Island which houses the Six Senses Zil Pasyon luxury resort. (Six Senses Zil Pasyon)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles’ Félicité Island was named the second-most sustainable destination in the Best of Africa category at the 2019 Top 100 destination awards.
The island, which is home to the Six Senses Zil Pasyon luxury resort, opened in 2016. It received the award from the Green Destinations -- a non-profit foundation for sustainable tourism — last month. Chumbe Island from Tanzania took the top spot.
The ceremony for the sustainable top 100 destinations award took place during the world’s largest trade fair -- ITB Berlin -- from March 6 to 10.
The general manager of Zil Pasyon, Hilton Hastings, said in a statement last week: “It is an incredible honour to be recognised worldwide for our environmental efforts, making us one of the top sustainable destinations of the world.”
He added that “the fact that a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean can make such an impact is amazing and it also comes with a lot of hard work from our team. I’m delighted that more and more guests are seeking destinations like ours and want to learn more about how they can implement similar practices when home.”
The Zil Pasyon resort is run in close collaboration with the Seychelles National Parks Authority since Félicité Island is part of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) and two-thirds of the island consists of Ramos National Park.
“We are very proud that our small island paradise has been recognised for the commitment to sustainable development and conservation initiatives,” said Anna Zora, sustainability manager of Six Senses Zil Pasyon, in a communique last week.
The sustainable top 100 destinations award is a selection of the finest top 100 destinations based on jury-reviewed sustainability success stories submitted by destinations. This unique award recognises innovation and good practices in tourism management of destinations and tour operators leading the way towards quality, attractiveness and sustainability in tourism.
An international jury, with representatives of the tourism, ecotourism and conservation industry, reviews the submissions of The Sustainable Top 100 Destinations Award and pinpoint the destinations which pioneer responsible tourism in different parts of the world.
Zora said that the Zil Pasyon resort’s key projects include island reforestation, turtle monitoring and coral restoration in addition to a zero waste and plastic-free initiatives.
“One project we take a lot of pride in is the rehabilitation of the island’s habitat through the reintroduction of endemic and indigenous species and the protection of the coco de mer site, which is only found in the Seychelles,” she added.
Guests of the resort can connect with the unique nature and scenery of the Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. The activities include guided snorkelling tours on the surrounding reefs and educational hikes that offer stunning views of the island and insights on the local fauna and flora.
The Six Senses hotels resorts and spas was purchased in February by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for $300 million.