This event will enable the Lab to gather insights to promote the co-design of future tourism models with young people at the core of these interventions.
The UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Accelerator Lab holds a Youth in Tourism Dialogue in Rodrigues.
Posted July 1, 2022
On 16 June, the UNDP Mauritius and Seychelles Accelerator Lab organized and facilitated a ‘Youth in Tourism’ dialogue at Baie Malgache, Rodrigues. The event was attended by Mr. Jean Alain Wong So, Commissioner for Tourism, and around 30 youth involved in tourism, from institutions such as the Rodrigues Regional Youth Council, Global Shapers, SME Mauritius. Through this Collective Intelligence exercise, the Accelerator Lab team aims to gather insights to promote the co-design of future tourism models with young people at the core of these interventions.
Re-Imagining the Future of Tourism with the Youth
During his intervention, Mr. Jean Alain Wong So, Commissioner for Tourism, explained that around 6000 tourists per month arrive in Rodrigues, generating revenues of about Rs 20 million every month for the island. He also highlighted the interconnectedness of the tourism industry with other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, transport, and artisanal production. According to him, the industry also offers a multitude of opportunities for young people to tap into, especially for entrepreneurship initiatives: “Young people working in the tourism industry should not limit themselves when considering their future career prospects. After five years of learning and accumulating work experience, why not kickstart their own project or create a business in the sector?”
His intervention was followed by a discussion session where the youth engaged in focus groups to discuss their motivations and inspirations to join the tourism industry. According to the participants, working in this sector is an opportunity to become financially independent and learn about new cultures. Many youth present also highlighted the flexibility of the sector and the numerous avenues for innovation and branching out. When talking about the challenges and barriers they faced during their journey, participants focused on issues such as the instability of employment following the COVID-19 pandemic, competition in the sector and the impact of the industry on the environment. The session ended with attendees sharing their thoughts on potential solutions and innovations that could guide the sustainable development of the tourism industry. These included providing more training for young people, integrating the use of renewable energies in various institutions, and exploring digitalization opportunities.
The Way Forward
This Collective Intelligence exercise follows similar events organised in Mauritius and Seychelles. Insights gathered during this exercise will enable the Accelerator Lab team to understand the Rodriguan tourism value chain, identify weak signals of change and channel the innovations, knowledge and contributions of young people to ensure tourism models are inclusive, green and sustainable.
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