Maldives to Become a Sustainable Tourist Place as Hotels Take Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Over the past few years, the travel industry has considerably grown as people are gradually learning about the importance and benefits of travelling. Also, there is a significant shift in the way people want to travel. As educated travellers, most people look for a sustainable tourist place for their vacations so that they don’t harm the environment while having fun.

Since tourism accounts for 30 percent of Maldives GDP, the region has been struggling to deal with declining tourist arrivals due to Covid-19. According to the ‘Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis in the Maldives’ report by the Maldives Ministry of Economic Development, tourist arrivals for the region are expected to be in range of 50–63 percent for 2020.

Closed borders due to the coronavirus outbreak and the rising sea levels due to unchecked global warming have impacted the tax revenues of the tropical paradise, 90 percent of which come from tourism. To deal with half-metre rise in sea levels and its potential damages to Maldives’ 200 islands, the government is working towards making the region a sustainable tourist place. Besides working on pursuing a low-carbon footprint, the industry is also helping many hotels and resorts in becoming eco-friendly.

In its recent Tourism Master Plan, the Ministry of Tourism of Maldives said, “The tourism sector has strong interest in helping the agencies responsible for environment and conservation, both for the sake of the tourism industry itself, as well as for the sake of future generations of Maldivians”.

The country was recently nominated in the World Travel Awards for Sustainable Tourism Destination and Leading Green Destination awards this year. To take the sustainable tourist place initiative further, nearly 130 luxury resorts and five-star hotels are trying to become self-sufficient. As per Irin Ng at hospitality consultancy Greenview, “More and more hotel [operators] are open to investing in solar panels as most hotels in Maldives generate their own electricity through shipped-in diesel, which becomes very expensive”.

Some hotels are aiming to eliminate usage of single-use plastic bottles by encouraging self-bottling and various other conservation and biodiversity initiatives. A famous resort situated close to Baa Atoll’s Unesco Biosphere Reserve — InterContinental Maldives has employed biologists to work with Manta Trust in protecting rays in its lagoon under the Green Engage Initiative. Also, for minimising their carbon footprint, the resort produces 155,000 litres of water a day using an ultrafiltration and reticulation plant.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has adopted an award-winning eco-theme design that inspires guests to learn about the environment. Another place using sustainably sourced materials is the Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawalhi. This place uses integrated solar panels and desalinated seawater for its everyday usage.

By collaborating with organisations like Parley, EarthCheck and Greenview, Park Hyatt Maldives and COMO Maalifushi are also contributing to making Maldives a sustainable tourist place.

Latest instructions by the Health Protection Agency in Maldives have refrained locals from inter-island travel except for emergencies. Although we don’t advise you to travel to Maldives at this moment, you should surely include the country in your future travel list.

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