Seychelles wins Green Travel Award from Italian Tourist Press Group
Willemin said that the department keeps encouraging responsible tourism while keeping persistent efforts towards preserving the islands' pristine state. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles has won the GIST Green Travel Award for its efforts to preserve its natural beauty and protect wildlife with sustainable tourism at the Trade and Consumer Fair BIT 2022 in Milan.
Tourism Seychelles – the marketing arm of the tourism department – said on Wednesday that the island nation walked away from the 10th edition of the fair with the Green Travel Award under the Honorable Mention Decade of the Sea category. This category promotes the UN's Decade of Marine Sciences for Sustainable Development, which runs from 2021 to 2030.
During the event that took place on April 11, the Italian Tourist Press Group (GIST) recognised Seychelles for the five pillars related to sustainability. This includes the three R's of waste management – reduce, reuse, and recycle – as well as flora and fauna protection, reducing water consumption, energy conservation, local care and fair trade.
Seychelles was acknowledged for the two-year ban it has imposed on the collection of sooty tern eggs. The ban imposed by the environment ministry for 2022 and 2023 is to ensure the recovery of the species' population.
Another endeavour that the 115-island archipelago was recognised for is the successful push to have the moutya – Seychelles traditional dance – added to the list of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.
The moutya dance was added to UNESCO's list of intangible heritage on December 15 in 2021 to become the first cultural tradition of the island nation to receive such recognition.
The director general for Destination Marketing at Tourism Seychelles, Bernadette Willemin, said that the award comes as an encouragement for active partners to keep their commitment to the conservation of their beautiful islands.
"We are proud to see that once more Seychelles is recognised for its work in sustainability. As a destination we will keep on encouraging responsible tourism while keeping our persistent efforts towards preserving our islands in a pristine state," said Willemin.
Recognised as one of the world's 25 biodiversity hotspots, Seychelles has designated 47 percent of its land territory as nature reserves and 30 percent of its ocean territory as marine protected areas. The island nation provides eco-friendly tourism activities and is home to two of UNESCO's world heritage sites.