Businesses in Seychelles that are certified as safe to welcome and provide services to visitors are now identifiable by a specially designed stamp — a green check-marked badge.
Seychelles reopened its borders to commercial passenger flights on Aug. 1, relaunching the island nation’s tourism industry after months of a COVID-19-induced shutdown. In May, the tourism department together with the local Public Health Authority started working on a set of criteria to govern the operation of tourism businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After receiving the guidelines, each business had to make their own Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). After inspections from relevant authorities are done to ensure that strict sanitary norms and important industry etiquette under the ‘new normal’ were in place, the business is issued with a safety certification. The certification assures visitors and guests that local service providers in the tourism industry and other related businesses are following best safety practices.
In a press release from the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), the principal secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune, said the certification is an important component of the operations of the industry providers today. “Our local businesses have been very forthcoming in helping us implement the new sanitary regulations the industry will have to abide by for operations. We are satisfied to see their interest to comply with this new component of tourism,” said Lafortune.
To date, over 200 service providers – restaurants, tour operators, tour guides, transportation providers among others – have been certified under the Safe Tourism Certification label. Businesses will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene requirements defined by the Public Health Authority have been implemented. The STB chief executive, Sherin Francis, said that the label is founded on the significant elements people are looking for before making plans to travel. “Safety has become an even more important prerequisite for travel. As a destination restarting its tourism industry, our responsibilities vis-à-vis our guests and local service providers are immense. We have been advocating for standard practices to be adopted across the globe and we are proud to see the implementations of these practices locally,” said Francis.