The Islands Development Company (IDC) is to build new hotels and villas on Seychelles’ outer islands to expand its tourism offerings.

According to the IDC, in the near future, tourists will be able to essentially occupy an entire island with only one villa on it.

IDC believes there is significant potential to generate profits from the tourism industry, as Patrick Berlouis, IDC Board Chair told Seychelles News Agency (SNA), that the company recorded $33.6 million in revenue for the 2017/2018 period, with tourism contributing 80% of the total.

The IDC is responsible for the sustainable development of the outer islands, managing 14 islands, with a permanent presence on 12, barring Providence and Cosmoledo.

According to Berlouis, major tourism activities will be undertaken on the outer islands from now until 2023, and will include eco-tourism hotels, eco-lodges, privately owned villas, and an exclusive villa that will be marketed under the ‘rent an island concept’.

The first project is expected to commence later this year and includes the construction of a 55-room eco-tourism hotel on Platte. An environmental impact assessment is currently being carried out on the island.

Berlouis told SNA: “This project is a good investment because although there are a limited number of rooms, the clients will be paying a substantial amount of money to stay at the hotel.  We are talking of a four- to five-star establishment. So everything is geared to having a premium product but not mass tourism.”

Eco-lodges have also been conceptualised for the southern islands by the IDC, such as Farquhar and Providence. According to Berlouis, these islands are far more fragile, therefore large tourism developments will not be built on them. Management for the six- to eight-room eco-lodges on the southern islands will be put out to tender.

Coetivy has also been earmarked for two tourism developments once the government transfers the lease of the island to the IDC. Planned development for the island includes a boutique hotel with between 30 and 40 rooms and a four-star hotel with 100 to 120 rooms, as well as 85 to 100 privately owned villas.

Remire will be marketed as a ‘rent an island concept’. “Most people would enjoy having an island to themselves and this is what we have in mind with this project,” said Berlouis. “To have an exclusive villa on the island where a group of people can come and spend their holidays.”

The IDC also has planned conservation programmes alongside tourism development.

Marie Louise island became a bird sanctuary last year and has further potential for a small ecotourism project comprising four to five bungalows for bird watchers.

Another project by the IDC includes Assumption island, the largest outer island of Seychelles, where IDC plans to construct a guesthouse for visitors overnighting on the island on their way to and from Aldabra.