SEYCHELLES’ PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES MORATORIUM FOR NEW LARGE HOTELS
(Posted 30th June 2015)
‘No more large hotels’ was one of the core messages in President James Alix Michel’s address to the nation when he announced, on the occasion of the first ever combined celebration of the Independence Day and the National Day, that the development of new large foreign owned resorts would be halted under a moratorium. President Michel was at the same time announcing that there would categorically be no resort development at Cap Ternay, where the government would rather construct the Blue Economy Institute and facilities for the archipelago’s youth.
Projects, which have already been approved and were in the planning and construction phase, will not be affected by the new presidential decree. The announcement was enthusiastically welcomed by local Seychellois entrepreneurs who have often invested their life savings to construct, self-catering facilities, B&B’s, holiday villas and apartments and who under government policy changes in recent years were able to enter the tourism industry under a broad empowerment programme.
The government will now launch a study to determine the carrying capacity of the archipelago’s main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue to establish how many tourists per annum can be catered for and if there is at all further space in the future for the development of some remaining sites for tourism purposes. The study will take into account such critical issues as water, electricity, skilled local manpower and waste management, all in line with the Seychelles’ commitment towards sustainable ecofriendly operations of all aspects of commerce and life.
The announcement about Cap Ternay also finally put to rest constant murmurs that this prized site was to be hived off to foreign investors for a resort development and critics now had the wind taken out of their sails when President Michel committed his government to the establishment of a national institution on that site, and leisure facilities for the island’s youths.
Notably did the president also announce the lifting of any duty on electric vehicles while hybrid vehicles would only attract a duty of five percent. He also decreed that every new home built from now on would require to install solar panels and solar water heaters but that subsidies would be available for qualified applicants to reduce the cost burden of the initial investment.
Seychelles – Another World is indeed just that, a country which has dedicated more than half of its territory to conservation, a country which future depends on halting climate change on a global scale and a country which is therefore playing its own progressive role to minimize the archipelago’s carbon footprint. Leading by example and putting his money where is mouth is, so it is thumbs up and full marks for President Michel, who with such feathers in his proverbial cap can confidently stride towards the next elections in early 2016.