An organisation in Seychelles promoting sustainable tourism has been elected as a regional board member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF) was elected as one of Africa's regional board members during the election that ended on July 16 at the headquarters of UNWTO in Madrid, Spain.
The founder of the foundation -- Daniella Alis-Payet - said, "We are grateful to see the role and commitments that we have been playing in the last two years in Seychelles, and our collaboration with other Small Islands Developing States has listed us with the 19 recently elected Members of the Board of UNWTO."
The Foundation strives to make Seychelles an international best practice example for sustainable tourism through an integrated collaborative approach between the public and private sectors, academia and non-governmental organisations.
"We must be doing something good as SSTF acts as a connecting platform for tourism in Seychelles, facilitating partnerships and joint initiatives for sustainable tourism," she said.
Alis-Payet added that as part of the Foundation's vision, her team has put together an action plan based on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council criteria. This allows the organisation to pursue a five-year goal for Seychelles to be certified as a sustainable tourism destination by one of the council's recognised bodies.
Tourism is the top economic contributor in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.
As an affiliate member, an organisation joins the team heading innovation, developing new technologies, carrying out research and training the tourism professionals of the future.
Having representation in all five continents, the affiliate members can keep up to date with specialists' national and regional knowledge. It also facilitates the formation of partnerships with similar organisations in other parts of the world.
The other organisation representing Africa in UNWTO -- the agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism -- is from Morocco. Together with its Moroccan partner, SSTF aims at collectively finding the best ways to promote the partnership between the organisation and the private sector.
The two African board members shall also work together to synchronise the strategies of the private sector with the values of the UNWTO and Sustainable Development Goals.