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Seychelles’ Tourism Department announced it has established a national classification system for tourism establishments in an effort to standardise the industry and guarantee quality. Currently, there are no national criteria to rank tourism establishments.
Seychelles Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anna Lafortune, told the Seychelles News Agency that the country will introduce two categories of classification. Hotels with more than 15 rooms and island resorts will be ranked on a one to five star grading system, while establishments with 15 rooms or less will be ranked on a system called Seychelles Secrets, which will have Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.
Lafortune says: “Big hotels have larger facilities and are better equipped whereas the small ones do not have these facilities which makes it unfair to compare them. We do not expect a small guest house to have a swimming pool or a tennis court and restaurant.”
The department consulted with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on the drafting of the classification, ensuring that the criteria adhered to international standards.
The classification system is part of the Tourism Development Bill that the department has had approved by Cabinet, and is pending approval by the National Assembly. “We want the bill to be submitted to the National Assembly and approved this semester. Should this happen, implementation of the classification system will take place in January next year,” says Lafortune.
Lafortune added that department officials have already started preliminary testing, allowing establishments to gauge where they would be ranked currently. This process allows establishments to work towards improving their facilities before ranking. Additionally, once finalised, rankings will last for two years before being reassessed, allowing for adjustments.