25 May 2017

Seychelles to Regulate Vendors On the Beaches of La Digue Island

Vendors on La Digue will soon have to follow a guideline before setting up shop on beaches of the third-most populated island of Seychelles, said a top official of the Seychelles Planning Authority.

The authority's chief executive, Joseph Francois, said that the activity which is closely regulated on other populated islands and requires permissions from relevant authorities has in recent years increased on several beaches of La Digue.

These beaches include world-renowned Anse Source d'Argent and the less frequented ones such as the Anse Severe area, Grand Anse and Anse Cocos.

"These places are already a hub for these kinds of activities and we want to regulate it before it gets out of hand," said Francois.

Situated far from any legal merchants, the beaches have attracted several inhabitants looking to tap the regular influx of visitors by providing drinks and other amenities. Not all visitors see the sellers as a nuisance.

"I don't have a problem with these vendors," said Lu Wu Fang, a Chinese tourist, who added that being far from the hotel it helped to have something fresh to drink after hours spent in the sea.

The business seems to be booming as more and more people have set up their tables as well as build hut-like facilities on beaches.

"Water, fresh coconuts and fruits are what most vendors like me are selling to earn a living," said Juliette Etienne, one of three people manning 'Anba var', a small hut of wood and leaves on the periphery of the beach of Anse Source d'Argent.

A few of the vendors are also artisans looking to sell their locally made crafts.

Diguois Cedric Fanchette, creates local jewelry and other crafts and with a lack of space to sell his product, has set up a small hut in the entrance of Anse Source d'Argent.

"Most visitors come to these beaches and thus it is a perfect place to do business," Fanchette told SNA.

With attractive names such as 'Cabana fruiti' translated as the fruit's hut or 'kabann blan' [white hut in Creole], the kiosk are also elaborately decorated with colourful displays and local garlands of coconut leaves.

Francois told SNA that "The guideline will ensure that all the facilities are the same and that they adhere to relevant laws and regulations on hygiene and environment."

Hygiene, aesthetic and environment issues are some of the points that the guideline will address when it is published in a few months following consultations with different departments including the district authorities.

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