The Seychelles – a popular up-market holiday spot off the east coast of Africa – has cancelled a luxury hotel development because it believes the land would be better used for food production.
Local residents – mainly dependent on food imports - complained about the arable land being sold to foreign investors and the government agreed to halt the negotiations.
The National Development Minister, Jacquelin Dugasse, said: “The proposed project will not go ahead and the land will remain state property. The feeling was that we should not stop agricultural development when food security is an issue.” He also promised to consult local people on any future projects.
The Director of Tourism, Alain St Ange, was not perturbed about the loss of a new and potentially lucrative luxury resort. He believed the land, currently home to the Agricultural Research Centre, should be developed into tropical fruit farms.
“We can’t give tourists imported apples for breakfast,” he said. “When they come here it’s nice to give them something local.”
by Andy Moreton
The 115 granite and coral islands of the Seychelles, located just south of the equator, have traditionally offered an idyllic destination for tourists drawn to its enviable climate and palm-fringed beaches and turquoise seas. Luxique offers the best available deal at the Banyan Tree in Mahe, which promises romance and rejuvenation.