Carrying capacity study: Seychelles’ main islands reaching limits of tourism impact
The study shows that the country has constraints in its capacity to provide utilities, sewage and waste treatment. (Gerard Larose)
New research from the Tourism Carrying Capacity Study for Seychelles’ two main islands – Mahe and Praslin – shows that the country is having constraints in capacity to provide electricity, water, waste treatment, and sewage system, a top government official said on Thursday.
Seychelles’ Vice President Ahmed Afif said in a press conference that people “who come to hotels use way more electrical services, water, and sewage than we do at home.”
“The amount of waste that they produce is also higher than at home. Our capacity to provide electricity is reaching its limit. We are getting close to needing to replace certain generators that we have. We will need to install more sewage plants and install systems all across the country. The same applies to water and all of these come at a cost,” said Afif
Conducted by Sustainable Travel International, the study revealed that the focus of investment mainly on accommodation facilities has led to little innovation in terms of the visitor experience. The study also confirmed that the tourism sector is a significant contributor to the economy.
The information was provided to the press after the Cabinet of Ministers was briefed on the results of the study during the Cabinet’s meeting held on Wednesday.
Following the presentation, Cabinet approved a number of measures that will allow for the development of Seychelles as a high-value with low-impact destination. More details are expected to be provided to the press on the study.
A carrying capacity was already carried out for La Digue, the third most populated island of Seychelles from 2019 to 2021. Results from the carrying capacity study that came out in 2021 also identified these pressures as deficient utility services, lack of proper waste management system, and the landfill operating at capacity.
A moratorium came into force on August 1, 2021, as part of recommendations brought forward after a study was carried out for the construction of new tourism accommodations and applications for change of use.
The moratorium has been extended until December 2023.