ITB Berlin 2010Berlin, Germany — 10-14 March 2010
Eco Travel – Does it exist in the Maldives?
Awareness of environmental issues are all around us these days. We see it in the news where we are reminded of the issues with plastic waste, polar bears becoming extinct, our sea life is suffering in so many ways from the waste disposal issues to rising sea temperatures – above and below ground we seem to be fighting a losing battle with ice bergs melting and coral reefs fading away.
“But what can I do? I can’t make a big impact on my own so why bother at all?”
Well actually there are plenty of things we can all do when at home and even when travelling abroad and for the team at Secret Paradise Maldives we are working hard to provide eco-conscious travellers the opportunity to discover the Maldives whilst knowing they are giving back to the local community and environment.
How do I know I am travelling to an eco friendly business?
If a business or company is actively working alongside local communities and helping sustain or protect their culture and environment then you can be sure they will be shouting very loud about it, but be sure to do your research and ensure there voice is backed up by action.
The Maldives, for example, has an organisation called ´Save the Beach´, where regular beach clean ups are organised as well as amazing initiatives like reef monitoring and rehabilitation. Secret Paradise Maldives works together with Save the Beach, offering educational trips and tours for tourists interested in learning more about the projects.
here are also a growing number of eco travel websites and companies that will recommend or certify eco conscious travel businesses and tour companies.
Guest houses and local islands versus Resorts
In 2009, the Maldivian government changed the laws to allow tourism on local islands. This created huge opportunities for local families to open their own guest houses and boutique hotels. Many of them employ their own family members and will buy produce from local suppliers on their islands, creating a ripple effect for eco tourism within their local communities. Resorts in the Maldives are situated on their own self contained islands, so therefore much of the revenue is being put back into sustaining their private islands. Many resorts do take environmental issues very seriously and are making huge efforts to provide great examples from which local islands can learn. For the traveller, however, visiting and staying in the local guest houses allows you not only to do your part for ecotourism, but also gives you an opportunity to see how the local people live, sample locally prepared foods and much more.
Why travel with Secret Paradise Maldives?
Secret Paradise Maldives offers an array of tours for the eco tourist. All our trips are focused on learning about the local islands, culture and giving back to the local economy by utilising local guest houses and boutique hotels run by Maldivian families. We haven’t forgotten about the crystal clear waters surrounding the beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean – snorkelling and scuba diving is available also using eco-friendly businesses to ensure our underwater world is not disrupted by inquisitive tourists!
Eco trips are more expensive and for high end earners
This is the perception; however, visiting local islands, local businesses and employing local residents means that the overheads are not as high as elite resorts who employ international staff and internationally built properties. To conclude, there are eco travel options to suit every budget.
Secret Paradise Maldives
Secret Paradise Maldives is an Eco Tourism Business encouraging travellers to visit places and businesses who work hard to sustain the natural areas of a country, through education and well-being. We ensure that local communities receive a fare share of the revenue generated through these initiatives utilising local produce, local businesses, local employment, as well as creating ways to sustain the natural beauty of the environment around them and take action to protect where needed.