Seychelles to halt construction of new tourism accommodations on La Digue Island

Construction of new tourism accommodations on La Digue Island in Seychelles is set to be halted. The director for policy, research, monitoring and evaluation in the Department of Tourism, Bernice Senaratne said the temporary suspension which will come into force August 1, is part of recommendations made after a carrying capacity study was carried out for La Digue Island from 2019 to 2021.

Sustainable Travel International, an independent consultant was commissioned by the Department of Tourism to undertake the study which was completed in February. Senaratne outlined that the study aimed to determine the extent of possible changes on the island while maintaining sustainability.

“It is recommended that a halt be placed on new establishments until 2023. The 2013 moratorium on construction of new hotels had an impact on the type of accommodations built there. However it did not lessen the rapid growth of rooms on the island. Therefore, it is recommended that there be no new accommodations developments until the impacts impact of the pandemic on the number of inbound tourists is better understood,” said Senaratne.

Favorable conditions

“It is expected that there will be more favorable conditions by 2023.  Hotel occupancy rate would have recovered and investment in productive infrastructure would have taken place. Other suggestions include a remedial plan to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism, economy and businesses, both on visitors and on residents,” Senaratne added.

The director observed that 2018 figures showed that large and medium hotels had a higher occupancy rate that for self-catering and guest houses. For large and medium hotels, it was at 65% percent but lower for self-catering at 63% and even lower for guest houses at 59%.

In 2019, 675 rooms were available for tourists on La Digue. In addition, 105 rooms have either been approved by the local government for construction, or are under construction. This represents an increase of 18% in the n number of rooms coming online in the near future.

Source: Construction Review Online

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