Earlier this week, IMTM hosted a weekend stuffed with full of life discussions on sustainable tourism within the Maldives. The two-day Sustainable Tourism Discussion board (STF) was held on third and 4th of December 2022. IMTM is happy to announce the discussion board was a superb success, with many like-minded contributors sharing their enthusiasm and keenness, and a constructive and thriving surroundings throughout.
The discussion board introduced collectively varied tourism sector stakeholders, together with resorts, guesthouses and liveaboards, non-public sector tourism associated companies, unbiased establishments, the United Nations, UNDP, ministries, scientific and tutorial our bodies. It inspired a multi-sector dialog and collaboration in the direction of a standard purpose: sustainability.
This yr, STF explored the theme “What’s Sustainable Tourism? Interpretations and Discourses of Sustainable Tourism within the Maldives.” This discussion board gives a well timed contribution to the Maldives’ tourism sector, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this yr. It’s a essential time to replicate on the necessary classes provided from our experiences and perceive how we could enhance to make sure tourism and its advantages are sustained for future generations.
STF 2022 sought to realize perception into the tourism sector’s stakeholders’ understanding of sustainability, and the way they apply it. With this, STF got down to outline sustainable tourism institutions within the nation. The first goal of the STF was to establish and develop a criterion for sustainable tourism institutions within the Maldives. A coverage paper on the findings and suggestions from the discussion board can be printed early subsequent yr with the hopes of strengthening sustainability within the Maldives. This paper can be introduced to authorities workplaces, NGOs, associations, and different tourism associated institutions.
Session One: Ideas, Developments and Insurance policies Regarding Sustainable Tourism
The discussion board discussions have been kicked off by shows from the 2 moderators, Ms. Aishath Azfa and Ms. Aminath Shadhun. Ms. Azfa shared her experience as a Sustainable Growth Specialist in her presentation, Tourism Sustainability: Altering Ideas and Trajectories. She highlighted how tourism has been a method ahead with financial growth, which has come at a price to the surroundings and pure assets. This means the best way by which growth is carried out performs a essential position.
Her presentation touched on many key areas of sustainable tourism, offering useful perception into the trade. As an illustration, while we now have seen a surge in native tourism with an rising quantity of guesthouses and job alternatives, we now have but to witness equal girls illustration within the tourism sector. One major drawback is that many guesthouses minimize down prices by having just one worker – often a person – to handle all the pieces. This tradition and mind-set wants to alter. With tourism increasing to all of the native islands, it is crucial that these tourism companies present equal alternatives and advantages for everybody.
Along with this, Ms. Azfa emphasised the difficulty of waste administration. In accordance with her findings, the tourism sector is likely one of the highest contributors to waste, with one vacationer producing a median of three.5kg of waste per day. This reveals the necessity for an answer to waste administration, together with the growth of waste administration amenities and infrastructure, particularly on islands the place native tourism is practiced.
Moreover, Co-Moderator, Ms. Shadhun spoke in regards to the growth of tourism within the Maldives, bringing in her information as a Sustainable Tourism Specialist. Certainly one of her key messages was that sustainable tourism shouldn’t be a kind or type of tourism, however somewhat a philosophy. To be able to obtain sustainability, a set of ideas and pointers should be in place to make sure all of the stakeholders are on the identical path, and everybody’s understanding of sustainability is aligned.
Ms. Shadhun mentioned the tourism insurance policies and Grasp Plans within the Maldives, highlighting the significance of getting a framework for sustainable tourism at a coverage degree. She famous sustainable growth of tourism requires sustainable monetary administration and integration of different associated sectors. She additionally famous the Maldives was awarded the title of the World’s Main Vacation spot for the third consecutive yr, however the Maldives has the capability to be greater than this – it could actually turn into a frontrunner amongst small island nations for Sustainable Tourism and this can be a purpose we should attempt to obtain.
Session Two: Shows
The second session of the discussion board was divided into three sub-themes in line with the contributors’ presentation subjects: Sustainable Oceans; Sustainability in Apply, and Working in Native Communities. The shows have been delivered by eight exterior audio system from the tourism trade who had volunteered to share their experiences on the discussion board. The main focus of those shows was to get an perception into how every entity defines sustainability and the work they do to advertise sustainable practices. Every sub-theme was adopted by a panel dialogue throughout which period the viewers have been capable of ask the audio system questions, leading to interactive and full of life classes.
Sub-theme One: Sustainable Oceans
Guaranteeing Sustainable Resort Coral Reef Fisheries within the Maldives
Jake Edmiston and Afaaz Zahid, Blue Marine Basis
Moosa Zameer Hassan and Dr. Shaistha Mohamed, NooRaajje
Plotting a Course In direction of Sustainable Nautical Tourism,
M.H Jiffry, Maldives Vacation Assortment
Sub-theme Two: Sustainability in Apply
Rafaella Colleoni, The Barefoot Eco Lodge
Fairmont Maldives Sustainability Lab
Samuel Dixon, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
The Sustainable Aspect of Life
Amandine Vuylsteke, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
Sub-theme Three: Working in Native Communities
Group Primarily based Tourism
Ruth Franklin, Secret Paradise Maldives
Unforgettable and Sustainable Experiences
Hugo Pedrosa, Ecoboo Maldives.
The 2 days of the discussion board made evident that every one the contributors have been united of their perception in furthering sustainable tourism. While tourism has been a catalyst for financial development, its hostile impacts have gone unregulated for too lengthy. The necessity for well-managed methods that place environmental safety and sustainable practices on the forefront is crucial. The primary day of the discussion board noticed shows on sustainable tourism in apply and panel discussions, adopted by a second day of group work and debates on criterions for sustainable tourism. The conversations all through the discussion board have been passionate and thought-provoking, reflecting nice vitality and collaboration from all of the contributors.
IMTM is delighted with the outcomes of STF 2022, however that is solely the start of its work. The coverage paper can be drafted and despatched to the contributors for his or her enter earlier than it’s printed in early 2023. It’s evident there may be robust help for sustainable tourism within the Maldives and we hope extra and extra folks will acknowledge its significance. There’s massive position for the federal government and its authorities to play to foster the mindset of the folks and youth to make sustainable growth part of on a regular basis life. Sustainability shouldn’t be an afterthought; it’s a want. A key takeaway from STF 2022, as coined by Ms. Amandine from Raffles Maldives: Maldives is the sunny facet of life… however it can be the Sustainable Aspect of Life.