More than 75 percent of the 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 out of 6,000 rooms in hotels, guesthouses and independent establishments have achieved COVID-19 certification.
Sybille Cardon, President of the Seychelles Hospitality 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 do get things done the way they should. was before COVID. “
The tourism industry, the main economic contributor to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, came to a halt when the country closed its borders to tourists at the start of the COVID-19 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 opened my eyes. It also reassured people that if they have a COVID-19 positive customer in the facility, 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 get certified, it’s good for your facility, your customers and your staff, and you’re 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 far less than what we initially received, but we still ask hotels and other establishments to do what is necessary – send in their standard operating procedures (SOPs) and take training which is being organized. to make sure everyone is on board, knowing what to do even if they decide not to open the establishment right away, although you are ready to reopen your establishment, ”Dogley said.