CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF GUIDING SUSTAINABLE TOURS
2022 sees a double celebration for Secret Paradise Maldives. Not only have we joined the celebrations for the Maldives Golden Jubilee Year of Tourism but we are celebrating 10 years of operation!
HOW DID THE SECRET PARADISE JOURNEY START?
Formed in 2012 at the advent of local tourism, we have always regarded people, communication and education as the three pillars of sustainable tourism, all of which we put at the heart of our operation. Co-Founder Ruth, believed that ‘in a destination whose existence depends on the protection of its fragile environment, it is our responsibility as a tour company to make travel more ethical, inclusive, and eco-friendly. Travelling with Secret Paradise means as a responsible traveler our guests support steps to limit the impact of travel on the destination.’
The concept of Secret Paradise tours was born out of Ruth’s desire to allow travellers to engage with locals and experience local life in the way she had been fortunate to do so in the preceding 10 years, during 30 visits to the Maldives as a tourist herself.
WHY TRAVEL WITH SECRET PARADISE MALDIVES?
Travelling with award winning Secret Paradise isn’t just about exploring the Maldives and enjoying the beautiful beaches and tropical waters. It’s about discovering authentic experiences and off-the-beaten-path locations that you didn’t even know were there to discover. Secret Paradise local guides enable travellers to connect safely with both Maldivian culture, local communities and the environment, going beyond the realms of a traditional Maldives holiday.
We are proud to have been ahead of the sustainable travel trend. Certainly when we started our journey, ‘responsible travel’ and ‘sustainable travel’ were not words commonly associated with travel companies. Several recent studies show demand for sustainable travel is growing. Numerous studies indicate that travelers are becoming even more conscientious of how and why they travel, with more than two thirds expecting the tourism industry to offer more sustainable options.
A recent Air Travel Sustainability survey found that 58% of tourists had more consideration for the environment and sustainability now than prior to the pandemic.
WHAT MAKES SECRET PARADISE MALDIVES UNIQUE?
What makes Secret Paradise unique and should most definitely appeal to the responsible traveler is that we offer educational and hands-on learning opportunities while out exploring the ocean and local tropical islands.
Qualified guides teach travellers about corals, marine-life, mangroves and ocean plastics pollution through presentations and story-telling. The team also work with local NGOs to focus on environmental and social issues and support coral planting and reef rehabilitation programmes, sea-grass protection and local island clean up events to mention but a few. Travelers can also gain insight into local Maldivian life, culture, history, traditions, food and language from the perspective of local experts.
We also recognises that not only do we have a responsibility to provide our guests with memorable local and sustainable experiences, we also have a responsibility for their health and safety. As a business, we have standard operating practices in place that cover health and safety, product risk assessments for all tours and annual audit inspections of the guesthouses with whom we partner.
WHY YOU CAN RELY ON SECRET PARADISE GUIDES
We provide ongoing training and development for our guiding team. This includes EFR and Life Saving Skills Certification. In person and online training on all aspects of our marine environment, including whale sharks, turtles manta rays and coral reefs. The team also complete a sustainable diploma with Travelife and tour guiding certification with Be a Better Guide. Guides also have the opportunity to participate in tour leader development programs available from Secret Paradise’s international travel partners. Education is a big part of life as a Secret Paradise and guest.
Ruth sums up that she believes Secret Paradise is more than just a business ‘ we are a community of guides, guesthouses, activity providers, NGOS and marine-life charity organisations, passionate about making a difference. We are fortunate to have the support of both local and international partners who share our values. Without them and without our guiding team Secret Paradise would have remained just an idea discussed over coffee!’
ISN’T IT TIME TO TRAVEL WITH SECRET PARADISE?
By choosing to travel with Secret Paradise, not only will you enjoy our island paradise home, but you will also actively contribute to the protection and conservation of the Maldives and it’s local economy.
This is just one of the reasons why we remain TripAdvisor’s leading tour company in the Maldives and in 2020 we were commended in the ‘Meaningful Connections’ category World Responsible Tourism Awards and long listed for the 2015 ‘Best for engaging people and culture’ category, World Responsible Tourism Awards.
So whether you are looking to explore Malé city or escape city life and discover the natural beauty of the Maldives we have a tour carefully designed for you.
You can check out all our tours here.