18 PRE-APPROVED LARGE RESORT PROJECTS TO GO AHEAD AS MORATORIUM IS RE-AFFIRMED
(Posted 15th March 2017)
Seychelles’ Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Mr. Maurice Loustau-Lalanne has confirmed that a moratorium on the planning and construction of larger scale resorts across the archipelago will remain in place while 18 projects already approved will go ahead through the final stages of planning or construction.
The moratorium was announced in mid 2015 by then President James Alix Michel, halting planning permission for several controversial projects while encouraging the construction of smaller locally owned resorts which portray the Creole culture and architecture. Local Seychellois have a monopoly on hotels and resorts of up to 15 rooms or villas with this segment strictly reserved for local investors into the hospitality industry. It was at that time that then tourism minister Alain St. Ange coined the phrase that Seychellois need to take control of their tourism industry and this shift of policy has since taken root with many more locals entering the sector.
The government of President Danny Rollen Faure has now reaffirmed the moratorium which will remain in place until at least 2020.
Among the projects already approved are Anse Boudin Hotel, Bayview Estate, KRG Resort and Spa, Police Bay Hotel, Sunset Beach Hotel, Zilwa Grand Barbe, Sea View Resort and Spa, Anse Lazio, Epitome Resort, Beau Vallon Eco-friendly Hotel, a 5-star Hotel at Bel Ombre, Water Front Development, Downtown Properties Ltd, Platte Island, Takamaka Resort, Le Privilege, and Long Island Resort. 12 of these properties will be located on the main island of Mahe and two on the second largest island of Praslin while the remaining projects will come up on four other islands, among them Silhouette and St. Anne.Tourism is the Seychelles’ primary economic activity ahead of fishing and general trade and linked to the prosperity of the archipelago in every respect.
More than half of the archipelago’s land area is set aside for conservation purposes as is a large section of the ocean surrounding the islands. A pristine marine environment is thought to be essential to maintain Seychelles’ marketing slogan ‘Another World‘ to set the islands apart from other competitors. The moratorium, inspite of record arrival numbers last year, will therefore be instrumental to preserving the natural integrity of many scenic spots around the main island and other of the inner islands and stop in its tracks any suggestion that the Seychelles will ever become a mass tourism destination.