The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL)

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1 The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) Presented by Michele Martin Sustainability for Seychelles In partnership with the Tourism Department

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3 The beauty of the natural environment and the way of life of the Seychellois people form the core of the Seychelles tourism product. Careful stewardship of these key tourism assets is essential to the sustainability of tourism and the integrity of the island s ecosystem

4 Origins of the SSTL The Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy ( ) called for the tourism sector to become more sustainable. As a result, the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) was developed and launched in 2012 as a certification programme to help mainstream sustainability practices in the accommodation sector. The development of the SSTL was funded through a GEF grant to the Seychelles government, to mainstream biodiversity conservation in the tourism and fisheries sectors.

5 What is the SSTL? The SSTL is a sustainable tourism management and certification programme designed specifically for use in Seychelles. It is voluntary, user friendly and designed to inspire more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business. It provides a set of standards to guide sustainability improvements in hotels. The SSTL was developed over several years through research, stakeholder discussion and local piloting. The criteria used in the assessment are of international standard but their development has drawn on local knowledge

6 SSTL Branding The Brand Name: Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label The Slogan Safeguarding Seychelles for Tomorrow The Logo

7 SSTL Vision That every hotel enterprise in Seychelles integrates sustainability practices in their business operations SSTL Mission To encourage hotel enterprises to mainstream sustainability practices into their business operations to safeguard the biodiversity and culture of Seychelles.

8 guests Hotels THE SSTL IS ALL ABOUT CONNECTING Community Staff & guests The environment

9 Steps to Becoming Certified There are 5 basic steps in the certification process 1. Internal Audit 2. Application 3. External Audit 4. Verification 5. Award

10 Getting Certified There are 3 basic things a hotel must do to earn SSTL certification: 1. Fulfil the 24 must criteria (SSTL has 105 criteria in all) 2. Achieve a minimum score for each theme: 5 points for small hotels (1-24rooms ), 6 for medium sized (25 51 rooms) 7 for large (51+ rooms) 3. Score an additional 6 points in any area

11 The SSTL Criteria The criteria is divided into 8 themes 1. Management 2. Waste 3. Water 4. Energy 5. Staff 6. Conservation 7. Community 8. Guests

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13 1. Management This section requires some sustainable documentation that will ensure the hotel s sustainability initiatives are undertaken systematically. It requires that progress is monitored over time, and that opportunities for further improvement are identified. That the practices are communicated to the staff, guests and other stakeholders.

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15 2. Waste Waste poses potentially serious environmental impacts and risks to health. On small islands, landfill waste toxins can easily leach into the soil and eventually the sea. In Seychelles landfills are mainly on the coast. This section seeks to encourage the practice of Reducing, reusing and recycling waste as effective ways of cutting business costs. Waste reduction is a widely understood and a visible form of sustainable practice and presents a good opportunity to foster support from guests, staff and the community.

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17 3. Water Seychelles suffers from of periods serious draught which is a challenge for the hospitality industry and the locals. The broad aim of water related practices is to reduce the overall impact on fresh water supplies as well as the potential for water pollution by: Reducing the amount of fresh water used by hotels Through conservation and rainwater collection Exploring options for water re-use and recycling.

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20 4. Energy Energy comprises of up to 50% of a hotel s utility costs. In Seychelles 60% of the total energy consumption is from the tourism industry. Energy reduction practices consist of management practices that change staff and /or guest behaviour in order to reduce energy use. Encouraging people to turn off electrical appliances and lights when not in use. Change linen/towels less frequently Encouraging hoteliers to opt for LED and other energy efficient appliances

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22 5. Staff Staff and guest-related practices are of significant importance to the sustainability of a hotel and of tourism in Seychelles. High staff turnover is a big challenge for the industry in Seychelles Dependence on expatriate workers can affect the guest experience. The criteria in this section aim to recognise fair treatment of staff and staffing opportunities given to local people to reduce staff turnover and encourage loyalty.

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25 6. Conservation While most sustainability practices focus on reducing the negative impact of a business on the environment or the community in which they operate, We also recognise that an important part of sustainable tourism is to encourage good Corporate Social Responsibility. This section encourages hotels to Make positive contributions to the local community and to local Conservation activities.

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27 7. Community The criteria under this section encourages hotels to be good corporate citizens by participating in community projects Favouring local produce and manufactured products to bring more benefits down the value chain Keep records of community involvement and share this with guests, staff and other stakeholders

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29 8. Guests Satisfied guests will recommend Seychelles to their friends and word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing. These criteria recognise the importance of guest satisfaction to the sustainability of the business and encourages hotels to make necessary efforts to ensure that the guest experience matches his expectations

30 Where are we now? Implementation of the label started in June We presently have 5 certified hotels The Tourism Department is now offering free audits (and registration) for the first 50 hotels to apply for certification. The Tourism Department has partnered with Sustainability for Seychelles to help promote the SSTL this campaign has resulted in several new applications which are now being processed

31 Next steps for the SSTL FTT (Fair Trade Tourism) announced recently that they recognize the SSTL and will be featuring and selling our certified products as at end of June 2015 as responsible products of Africa. Next step - to apply for GSTC recognition for the SSTL, which will give us regional and international recognition. We need to continue to promote the program and give support and recognition to the tourism establishments who are making an effort to become more sustainable Integrate the SSTL criteria into the criteria of other products e.g. Seychelles Secrets

32 THANK YOU!

33 Thank you!

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