Seychellois Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism attends One Ocean Summit

As part of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Program, the workshop focused on how the blue economy can be integrated into the tourism industry, supporting ocean conservation, a mission in which Seychelles have invested heavily over the years.

The Seychelles, with its limited landmass of just 450 km2, has an exclusive economic zone of 1.4 million km2, highlighting how its mother ocean is expected to play a crucial role in shaping and directing the tourism industry.

One of the key points of the workshop emphasizes the challenges related to the development of tourism such as the loss of biodiversity, pollution, consumption of resources and the evolution of socio-economic models. Although Seychelles tourism industry has become increasingly sustainable over the past decade, the workshop highlighted the likelihood of COVID19 responses being less sustainable due to rapid implementation.

In his speech, Minister Radegonde stated:

“The days when tourism could have been seen as a stand-alone entity are long gone…”

“…unresponsive to other economic activities and the need for balanced and synergistic integration with other economic sectors, and with the dynamics of the rapidly changing world in which we now live.

He adds that “the essence of the blue economy is to find the right balance between conservation and socio-economic development. We have both a fragile economy and an equally fragile environment, which cannot withstand the under- or over-exploitation of resources. From our national perspective, the implementation of a blue economy can be used to mitigate threats such as climate change, pollution and overexploitation – all of which have a growing impact on our tourism – while providing solutions innovations for the socio-economic progress of our nation.

The mission of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism program is to support the integration of concrete and operational solutions towards more circular tourism value chains. In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, the program proposes and promotes solutions that anchor the recovery on sustainability to support the resilience of the sector to future crises.

Predicted to become one of the largest ocean economies by 2030, Seychelles has embraced the blue economy since 2015, recognizing its unique dependencies on the oceans and its vulnerability to environmental and economic risks.

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