Press release

Seychelles participates in the United Nations High-Level Thematic Debate on Tourism

May 11, 2022

Ambassador Ian Madeleine participated in the high-level thematic debate entitled: ‘Putting sustainable and resilient tourism at the heart of an inclusive recovery’, held on Wednesday in New York, on behalf of Minister Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism.

In his intervention during the roundtable discussion held under the theme ‘For Prosperity: Re-invigorating investments in sustainable tourism’, he highlighted that Small Island Developing States such as Seychelles have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, given the dependence of their economies on international tourism, and that there is a dire need for the recovery process to focus on building a more resilient and sustainable tourism industry.

The Ambassador further stressed that an inclusive recovery would require the adoption of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index which could better direct financial assistance and access to concessional financing, providing governments the fiscal space needed to transform and diversify the tourism industry.

Furthermore, Ambassador Madeleine underlined the importance of a healthy environment in building a stronger and more resilient tourism industry, and the role public-private partnerships can play to bridge the divide between conservation and development by supporting nature-based solutions, decarbonization, sustainable production and consumption.

Lastly, the Ambassador added that, “Building confidence in tourism investments necessitates safe international travel and the reinforcement of global health systems. More must be done to increase the availability and accessibility of essential medicines and health commodities including vaccines.”

The high-level thematic debate which saw the participation of Ministers for tourism and other senior officials, was convened by the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Abdulla Shahid, in close collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The event provided the opportunity for Member States, and other relevant stakeholders to discuss strategies and perspectives on rebuilding a tourism industry as a driver for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.