Following the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the Department of Tourism would like to urge tourism businesses that do not have a crisis management plan to start preparing one as it will assist to better cope with threats that may affect tourism businesses and safeguard the image of Seychelles as a tourist destination.
Seychelles being a small island developing state, faces several challenges in terms of economic, environment and socio-cultural development. Like any other small island state, the islands are also affected by factors such as remoteness, topography, demography, limited resources etc. However, the greatest challenge for all small island states, including Seychelles, remain their susceptibility and vulnerability to various hazards which could be either natural or man-made. Examples are outbreaks of diseases, storms leading to strong tropical winds and heavy rainfall causing flash floods, tsunami, tropical cyclones etc.
Preparedness for hazards that may lead to disasters is critical for individuals, households, businesses including tourism and communities. However, many remain unprepared. Many business sectors, especially tourism, which is the heart of the Seychelles economy, are not integrating multi- hazard preparedness in their business crisis management plan for emergency response which is indispensable for business continuity and recovery.
The concept of multi-hazard preparedness encompasses measures to protect property and contain disaster damage and disruption. It also includes protective actions designed to enhance life safety when such hazards occur. Multi-hazard preparedness consists of activities aimed at improving emergency response and coping with disaster related tasks. Part of preparedness is to ensure the management of each and every business, regardless of the size, and should have an effective emergency response mechanism that will enable businesses to react rapidly to any crisis situation.
Sufficient resources, trained employees, contingency financial resources, appropriate equipment, logistics and other amenities are also necessary to respond effectively to any local, national, regional or global hazard, and those who are faced with having to respond should know how to use these resources to ascertain business continuity during any crisis provoked by these hazards.
The plan should also consist of standard operating procedures during emergency response detailing who should do what and when including a clear risk communication plan. Good and effective communication is central to ensuring smooth management of any crisis.
Having these measures in place, will help protect the health and safety of guests (tourists) as well as employees, which are important to ensuring the reputation of businesses and ascertain that they can recover in the shortest period of time.
Contribution of the Department of Tourism