The Hotel L’Archipel is located in the northeastern region of Praslin at the end of the Côte d’Or. The Bay is one of the labeled tourist establishments. (Hotel L’Archipel)
(Seychelles News Agency) – More than 75 percent of rooms in Seychelles’ 418 tourist establishments have received safe tourism certificates and are able to accommodate visitors, although not all are open, the tourism minister said .
Didier Dogley said about 4,700 of the 6,000 rooms in hotels, guesthouses and independent establishments have reached a COVID-19[female[feminine certificate.
Sybille Cardon, President of Seychellois Hotel and Tourism Association (SHTA), told SNA on Thursday that the number of certified establishments “is something positive and we cannot just pretend that we are going to reopen Seychelles and make things work like before COVID”.
The tourism industry, the main economic contributor to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, came to a halt when the nation closed its borders to tourists at the start of the COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic.
Since authorities decided to reopen Seychelles’ borders to visitors, the tourism department has been working closely with health authorities to develop guidelines governing the operation of tourism businesses.
A Safe Tourism Certificate is issued to businesses that have trained their staff and met other public health criteria.
“The training allowed people to learn more about the virus. It was an eye-opener. It also reassured people that if they had a positive client with COVID-19[female[feminine in the establishment that everyone will get sick. This does not mean that a staff member who has a fever automatically has COVID. This process was and is important, ”Cardon said.
She added that “when you are certified it is good for your establishment, your customers and your staff, and you are better prepared for the new normal.”
Training on Mahé, the main island, first started at Avani Resort, but the organizers were disappointed because no one showed up. This changed as people started to realize the importance of it.
“The number of applications we receive is much lower than what we initially received, but we always ask hotels and other establishments to do what is necessary – send their Standard operating procedures (SOP) and attend training that is organized to make sure everyone is on board, knowing what to do even if they decide not to open the facility right away, even though you will be prepared for the reopening of your facility, ”Dogley said.