4 Reasons Why Seychelles Resorts Should Go Renewable
Situated right off the coast of Madagascar, the Seychelles has become a hugely popular tourist destination. The location and superb climate conditions are ideal for vacationing, but also for wind and solar energy. Despite this potential, the Seychelles, and similar island countries, are behind in the renewable energy development compared to other islands like Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean and Tokelau in the South Pacific. Soaring electricity prices and rising sea levels threaten these islands’ actual existence. By capitalizing on renewable resources, these countries, and enterprises within them, can reduce electricity costs while becoming more environmentally sustainable in the process.
There are plenty of reasons for businesses to invest in solar panel and wind turbine energy from an economical, environmental and social standpoint specifically because of:
The tourism industry, and hotels especially, are high impact energy consumers --continuously using massive amounts of energy for lighting, refrigeration, air conditioning, and cleaning -- and therefore have the most to gain from lowering operating costs and a high ROI by transitioning to renewable sources. If commercial operations were to adopt renewable energy, they would achieve a payback period in an incredible 2-3 years for grid tied solar systems in addition to reducing carbon emissions.
The Seychelles people and government care about preserving the beauty and pristine quality of the islands. Pursuing renewable solutions instead of carbon based will reduce strain on their wallets and natural resources. The Seychelles 2010 Energy Policy set forth by the nation ensures the conservation of the country’s natural diversity and long-term sustainable development. This includes diversifying the energy supply with targets of at least 5% of renewable energy in 2020 and 15% share in 2030.
Furthermore, implementing wind and solar powered energy solutions creates a terrific marketing platform to attract more business from eco-friendly travelers. Tourism accounts for 25% of the Seychelles’ GDP, which is by far the single largest driving force of their economy. A recent study done by McGraw Hill construction revealed that most sustainable hotels reported an increased occupancy rate growth by 15% of more. In fact, according to the Center for Responsible Travel, ecotourism captures $77 billion of the global market and is experiencing unprecedented gains that are expected to only soar as concern for global warming progresses. Early converts to sustainable tourism and lodging will undoubtedly make huge market gains.
Education and Awareness
Lastly, resorts attract a diverse population of customers from all over the world. This is a highly visible opportunity for resorts to effectively communicate to everyone that going green is good and start a dialogue about the importance of energy conservation.
It is easier now more than ever for hotels to incorporate renewable energy to lower operating costs, attract environmentally-conscious customers, further conserve natural resources, and distinguish your business as the destination for sustainable lodging and events.
- Marissa Graham, Business Development