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Is Maldives tourism waste on the decline?

Approximately one million tourists each year visit the Maldives and along with the country's 395,000 residents, the issue of waste can be a daunting task for hoteliers to overcome.


Thanks to one luxury resort in the archipelago, however, this is changing due to its no-nonsense sustainability strategy.


With the United Nations declaring 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, holidaymakers are now experiencing eco-friendly initiatives and sustainable travel first hand and travelers are more aware than ever of minimizing their environmental impact when booking a luxury break. 


Approximately 70,000 tons of waste is generated from over 100 of the Maldives resort islands in any given year, but the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has helped reduce this figure with a range of environmental responsibility practices, without compromising its luxury standards.


Having already significantly reduced the use of all non-biodegradable bottles and plastic within the resort, crops are grown in its handmade hydroponics garden, eliminating the cost of importing items such as lettuce, peppers, oregano and chilis from other suppliers. Moreover, the garden is a focal point when it comes to guest indulgence as plants such as basil, mint and lemongrass are exclusively used within the mocktail menu across the entire resort, as well as serving all 12 of its F&B outlets.


With the resort increasing its cultural offerings for the Middle East traveler, allied with wider Middle East awareness programmes, such as the UAE Food Bank by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to reduce food waste, the subject of sustainability in the region has never been more relevant.


“Sustainability and the reduction of food waste is a priority to Conrad Maldives and a key driver in our daily operations. Caring for people and nature is now an essential element of the resorts ethos and goes hand in hand with the UAE’s recently announced Year of Giving,” Stefano Ruzza, general manager, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island said.


Stefano continued, “Inspired by Hilton's corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose, the resort continually seeks out opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and we are set to become one of the country’s most unique resorts to adopt these practices.”


Conrad Maldives has also implemented a robust corporate responsibility program that encompasses sustainability and community investment initiatives designed to make a lasting impact on the lives of the people living in these communities.


Additionally, the resort has expanded on its sustainable practices by encouraging local communities to do the same. After the successful implementation of its hydroponics garden at the resort, team members from Conrad Maldives installed a hydroponics system in a school in Dhigurah (which is located in the same Atoll).


The system is utilised by the school’s student environment club and after two successful harvests, the students have started to sell the crops to local guest houses, with the proceeds being used for school development projects.  It is Conrad Maldives’ hope that this experience will teach the students about sustainable farming and food and the importance of food waste.


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