(CMR) The Republic of Seychelles has announced a two-year ban on cruise ships.
The country's `Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Didier Dogley , made the announcement while speaking to the local press, stating that the ban would come into effect immediately.
According to Dogley, the measure is in line with the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) which is the United Nations’ specialized agency responsible for the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism.
Dogley said that Seychelles, which boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP of any African nation, and is heavily dependent on tourism, took the drastic step to minimize the impact of a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
While explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain it are having a deleterious impact on the tourism sector, the minister said the government has put in place a variety of measures to keep the industry afloat until business picks up.
In addition to salary guarantees until June, Dogley said the government had made other supports available, including soft loans and tax holidays – a government incentive programme that offers a tax reduction or elimination to businesses.
It is estimated that the island's tourism sector employs 30% of the labour force.