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Sustainable tourism in action in Seychelles

Mr. Ken Choo, Minister Peter Sinon, Mr. Phillip Guitton

Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino
and Constance Ephelia Resort, two of the largest hotel companies in the Seychelles, have come to an agreement this week with the Seychelles Farmers Association and Cooperative to purchase local chicken instead of imported chicken. To date, it is believed that Berjaya Resort consumes approximately 2 tons of chicken per month and the Ephelia Resort consumes approximately 6 tons of chicken per month.

The initiative for the drive for local tourism establishments to use locally produced products had been spearheaded by the Minister Peter Sinon of the Ministry of Investment, Natural Resources, and Industry. Both hotel companies have said that they support the initiative as this is part of the sustainable tourism practices, which the Seychelles Tourism Board is developing.

Mr. Ken Choo, General Manager of Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino, and Mr. Phillip Guitton, the Regional Manager of Constance Ephelia Resort, has met with Seychelles Farmer’s Association Chairman, Mr. Serge Benstrong, and General Manager of Seychelles Farmer’s Marketing Cooperative Mr. Simon Hoareau.

Both the hotels are committed to purchasing chickens from local farms from the next month at the agreed price. This support shall provide ample time for the local farmers to further improve their operations on matters like (a) Hygiene (b) Packing (c) Storage and (d) Halal Certification (which some hotel companies requires).

Mr. Ken Choo, the General Manager of Berjaya Beau Vallon Resort & Casino, said, “Our hotel company has initiated several practices with regards to sustainable tourism in Seychelles in areas such as energy conservation and water conservation. Today we are looking into another angle in our Sustainable Tourism effort which goes beyond the hotel itself. Supporting the local farm and local industries are important criteria to achieving a successful hotel business. I see our hotel company integrating itself into the community in which we operate in. The integration is important. No doubt about it. We are not only purchasing local chicken, we are also purchasing local eggs, pork, fruits, vegetables, bread, fish, etc. Not every consumer is sensitive to price. Not every consumer looks at price alone as the sole factor when deciding on the purchase of local chicken verses imported chicken. We need to look at the bigger picture of sustainability of local farms and farmers in the community in which we are operating in.

"However, having said that, we have informed Mr. Benstrong and Mr. Hoareau that local chicken suppliers have to not only meet the demand requirements of hotels but also hygiene standards and other requirements of hotels to ensure sustainable demand for their product in the long term. We are glad that the Seychelles farmers [are] opening [their] doors to welcome our field visits to the farms. This builds business confidence and transparency in our partnership agreement.”

PHOTO (L to R):  Mr. Ken Choo, Minister Peter Sinon, Mr. Phillip Guitton / Photo from Seychelles Tourism Board