The Tourism Department has launched a new leaflet providing tips to hikers, especially tourists, keen to explore Seychelles’ walks and trails.

The leaflet has been produced by the Risk Management Section within the Tourism Department, in collaboration with other partners including the Seychelles National Parks Authority and Seychelles police. The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune and the Director Risk Management, Philomena Hollanda presented a copy of the leaflet to the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne on Wednesday December 20, 2017. Minister Loustau-Lalanne welcomed the booklet while highlighting that it is fitting to promote the country’s walks and trails. “This goes well with the Seychelles brand as the country is a champion of a clean environment and when we engage in activities such as trekking this also helps us to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Minister Loustau-Lalanne. The Chief Executive of the Seychelles National Parks Authority, Flavien Joubert and Chief Superintendent Sean Jacklin were also presented with a copy of the document, during the launch at Botanical House, Mont Fleuri. The Director Risk Management, Philomena Hollanda said it has taken around 4 to 5 months to produce the document. The leaflet provides useful tips that nature lovers – both Seychellois and tourists – should observe while hiking on both official and unofficial walks and trails in Seychelles. This includes ensuring that there is good weather, seeking maximum information about the trails including seeking the services of a licensed guide -- especially for unofficial trails, having the proper safety gears and a list of essentials to carry along including water, a mobile phone with charged battery. The leaflet also has a list of essential numbers to be contacted in case of emergency. The Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune, said the leaflet will complement the Seychelles Hiking Guide, recently launched by the Seychelles Tourism Board, providing details of 15 trails found on Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, and Silhouette. “Many tourists like to visit our walks and trails and we have witnessed several incidents in the past where they can be injured or lost, so we have taken the initiative to produce the leaflet to give them tips that can be followed as a precaution,” said Mrs Lafortune. According to Chief Superintendent Sean Jacklin, the police records at least one incident of tourists being lost on trails every two months, but they are usually provided with assistance within 12 to 24 hours. Mr Jacklin noted that a lot of the incidents could have been avoided if some simple steps had been taken, like giving details of which trail they were going to visit, carrying along a whistle to signal the attention of the search party if they are too weak to call out for help, among others. He welcomed the production of the new leaflet, which he said should help all hikers to enjoy the flora and fauna of Seychelles in a safe manner. The Chief Executive of the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA), Flavien Joubert, said that in addition to the new hiking guide and now the new information leaflet, they will also be placing more information board along the trails to improve the trekking experience, as part of efforts to encourage more visitors to explore nature while on holiday. A new helpline 2818800 is also operational for any visitors who may need assistance if they encounter any problems while visiting the trails, which also features on SNPA’s new website. The SNPA is also collaborating with the Seychelles Tourism Board to design a smartphone app, which will present the new Seychelles Hiking Guide launched by STB in a digital format, also allowing hikers to access a host of other features. The new leaflet providing useful tips for a memorable experience while exploring Seychelles’ walks and trails is available on the Tourism Department’s website. Physical copies are also being distributed to the various stakeholders including the tourism establishments, SNPA, police, tourist information office, among others.