Seychelles: where the purest air is to be found.

By | Category: Travel destinations
la Digue on the Seychelles

Seychelles, La Digue

According to the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, the Seychelles has the purest air on the planet.

This is due in some measure to putting caps on large hotels and visitor arrivals, allowing only small, locally-operated properties to grow and eventually limiting the number of tourist beds per island and adopting the Nature Needs Half vision, protecting over 50% of its total land area and 30% of its marine environment.

For any country where 20% of its GDP is dependent on tourism this requires a delicate balancing act. Too many tourists could be detrimental to the country and alter the eco balance that currently exists. Too few visitors mean an economic crisis for both the people and the country.

The Seychelles is a country that triples its population with visitor arrivals. Last year there were over 270,000 visitors, a 19% increase over 2014 figures, and in 2016, growth has increased over 10% so far since the previous year.  The question is how many more tourists can the country bear without affecting the delicate balance between protecting some of the most beautiful and unspoilt islands in the world whilst still allowing all those who would like to visit.

To achieve this, the government has adopted a sustainable tourism management and certification programme designed specifically for use by Seychelles hotels. It has developed systems to produce its energy requirements from renewable sources whilst guaranteeing its citizens and visitors alike the right to a clean, healthy, and ecologically balanced environment.

It may also help that Alain St.Ange, the Minister of Tourism and Culture has a tourist background and thus is one of the few tourism ministers in the world who understands how important tourism is as opposed to being a politician just looking to move up the ladder.

As more tourists visit, further plans must be implemented to maintain that balance. At some stage there might have to be a cap on visitors to certain areas. There will be new goals for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and natural resources. In this way the country hopes that it can still welcome more tourists whilst preserving the Seychelles way of life, the environment and wildlife.

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