In a destination when climate change may have a significant impact local tour company Secret Paradise are putting sustainable tourism to the fore. They state they are committed to supporting local communities, protecting their fragile environment and providing their guests with an experience as well as an education. Guiding tours since 2012, their team of local guides have not only shared their home’s culture, history and traditions with guests but have educated them on the benefits of mangroves and seagrass, how to protect coral reefs and provided opportunities for guests to interact with Maldives based organisations, NGOs, marine-life charities. It is not only the guest experience that has a sustainable approach, behind the scenes, Co-Founder Ruth Franklin has attended tourism and travel forums in the Maldives to present to fellow industry colleagues how businesses can take a sustainable approach.
By staying in local island guest houses our guests are contributing to the local economy and increasing local employment. The properties we partner are run by local island families where everyone is instrumental in the day to day running of the guest house. Buying locally made souvenirs and eating local produce means that local farmers and small businesses benefit. We recommend souvenir shops in Male that are off the main tourist route, where guests have the opportunity to buy locally crafted products as opposed to the imported souvenirs that are sold in standard tourist souvenir shops. Attending and support local art and craft exhibitions with guests and sharing on social media to create awareness to locals and guests alike.
All guests participating in ocean based activities including swimming and snorkelling are briefed using the Green Fins Guidelines on how to be responsible in the water. The team regularly support clean up events on the islands where they travel. We support the planting and maintenance of coral nurseries with our guests on Vuillimale and Maafushi.
In 2018 they launched #STRAWWARMV to encourage partners to ditch the straw. They have pledged support to #protectmaldivesseagrass
We know we need to practise what we preach!
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