Beau Vallon has been identified as one of a number of sites where investors can construct facilities under this project. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
A number of sites have been identified in Seychelles to construct facilities for sport tourism activities as part of the government’s plan to diversify the tourism industry, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Minister of Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry, Devika Vidot, said that while tourism activities are the main source of income for Seychelles, there is a need to increase the amount of money that tourists spend during their stay.
Sports tourism will therefore provide adequate sports and leisure activities and hosting international sporting events can attract more people and increase the visibility of Seychelles.
Regarding the investment in the facilities, Vidot said the Seychelles delegation to Expo 2020 in Dubai presented the concept to a number of interested parties. Some of them came up with ideas and traveled to the Seychelles to identify areas in which they could invest.
“We have already identified a number of sites where investors can build facilities under this project, such as Beau Vallon, the Roche Caiman Sports ComplexAnse Royale and even on Praslin,” she added.
|Sports tourism should provide adequate sports and leisure activities (Betymie Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Tourism is the biggest contributor to the economy of the western Indian Ocean island nation and it was the industry that was hardest hit when the Covid-19 pandemic caused a decline in travel. Since then, the Seychelles government has intensified its efforts to diversify the economy.
“The government’s plan for the diversification of the economy is also centered on the expansion of tourism, fishing and sports with new activities and investments,” Vidot said.
She added that sports tourism has been identified as an area with great potential, where the focus is on using the country’s resources to promote this concept, with a focus on water sports.
One such example is the recently announced project at the Beau Vallon Regatta site, where a proposed sports arena will see the construction of state-of-the-art facilities with a basketball court, gymnasiums and even a training camp facility.
Vidot said that in the plan, Seychellois investors will be given priority over foreigners, although the government is aware that some projects require a lot of capital which can only be obtained through foreign investment. This is why the government allows foreigners to partner with local investors for their projects.
The Minister said that despite the current focus on sports tourism, it is not a new concept in Seychelles as it was already being implemented.
She pointed to the Eco-Friendly Marathon as a way to attract more visitors through sport, among other events held over the years.
The Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon was launched in 2008 by Seychelles’ Honorary Consul General to South Korea, Dong Chang Jeong, as part of efforts to encourage the people of the island nation to stay healthy. The marathon has now become an annual event that attracts locals and foreigners working or vacationing in Seychelles, as well as foreign participants who come expressly for the marathon.
Since 2018, Seychelles has hosted part of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Open Water Swimming World Series. The project is organized in collaboration with the Ministries of Youth, Sports and Family, and Tourism and Foreign Affairs.