Manager Insider Tip—Maldives Makeover Benefits
In our series of Manager Insider Tips, here are some new reasons to visit the Maldives given to you by Gonzalo Gil Lavedra, our general manager in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He comes with an alternative selection of accommodation options in the Maldives and the positive impact they can have on the local population.
Sustainability is very important to us at Khiri Travel. Sustainability comes in many forms such as in wildlife management, carbon footprint reduction, local community involvement and others. As travelers, sustainability derives from responsible tourism and the choice on how to travel and what services to use. I believe that it’s important to be aware of the impact of our choices on the places we travel and realize that we have a great deal of choice as to where we add our value.
This month’s Manager Insider Tip is to try to ensure that the money spent by travelers actually benefits the local Asian people rather than just large international companies. In the long term, helping and sustaining the locals who enter the tourism value chain can ripple and multiply through the local economy and directly improve and expand the services available.
The Maldives is a good example of tourism choices. The government rents entire islands by long terms leases on which international companies build luxurious resorts. These exclusive properties are expensive, often charging between USD 300-5000 per night. The international owners do employ people from the Maldives, source local products and contribute to building local infrastructure. However, the large part of their profits does not stay in the Maldives.
Alternatively, the government has recently made it legal for it’s people to offer more budget accommodations. The Maldivian people can now operate guesthouses catering to foreigners. Khiri Travel is very excited about this new opportunity for travelers to spend their money in such a way that more directly contributes to the sustainability of the local community.
Over the past two weeks me and my team have been contracting guesthouses on numerous islands in the south and north Male atolls. We are launching attractive packages for travelers to experience the Maldives for under USD 100 per day staying at local guesthouses. Luxurious resorts are great for those who can afford the expense. In the end, the true value of the Maldives lies under its sparkling turquoise waters regardless of where travelers obtain their snorkeling gear.
Tourism demand for these guesthouses is impacting local behavior in positive ways. Not only has the demand for guesthouses created an impetus for the Maldivian population to enter the tourism business, there is also more value placed on the need to protect and maintain the richness of the coral reefs. Sustainability in the Maldives means conservation of their beautiful marine resources.
Please stay tuned for more information, and contact me via the form below for information on these multiple day packages to the Maldives on a shoestring.