The Seychelles are known throughout the world because of one sector in particular: tourism. For the past few years, the University of Seychelles has been positioning itself as a center of excellence in a number of specific fields. Sustainable Tourism is at the crossroads of other key areas of research currently being developed at UniSey: including the Blue Economy; Indian Ocean languages and cultures; environmental science; and education in small island states. Attracting international collaboration in the field of sustainable tourism also highlights the transdisciplinary research that UniSey is currently developing.
Only created in January 2017, the Department of Tourism and Cultural Heritage has, in a short time-frame, build an international reputation in the fields of sustainable tourism practices and heritage management.
Among different actions initiated by its Head of Department, the Department was invited to be represented at the 3rd Indian Ocean Heritage Conference on “Heritage, Development and Impact on Tourism”, in October 2017 in Saint Denis, Reunion Island.
In November 2017, the Departement of Tourism and Cultural Heritage organized the International Conference on “Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States”, in the framework of the 2017 UN International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development. Besides tourism stakeholders from Seychelles, the conference convened 30 international delegates from 22 countries, including Antigua, Aruba, Botswana, Comoros, Egypt, France, Germany, Guam, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Micronesia, New Zealand, Reunion, Sao-Tomé and Principe, South Africa, Tanzania, UAE, USA and Vanuatu.
In December 2017, the Head of the Department represented the University of Seychelles at the Second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on “Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development”, in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
The Head of the Department also represented the University of Seychelles at the UNESCO Workshop on “World Heritage and Educational Institutions in Africa”, in Zimbabwe, April 2018, by giving a presentation on “Sustainable Tourism and Heritage Management in Seychelles: Building a University Curriculum”.
Beside these involvements in major international events, the Department is also involved in inter-institutional partnerships with other academic institutions recognized for their level of excellence in the field of sustainable tourism management.
A major partner is the University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne. UniSey is offering a joint program in Sustainable Tourism Management in partnership with IREST – Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne. The first cohort will graduate in November 2018. The Director of IREST and the Vice-Provost of the Sorbonne will be attending.
Another partner is the EMTM, University of Girona, Spain.