Responsible tourism plays a very large part in what we do. We are mindful of ensuring we promote local tourism in line with Maldivian culture and traditions. Through education of both guests and locals, we aim to protect the environment and limit where ever possible any negative impact to local life.
We are committed to informing and demonstrating to our competitors, our team, our partners, and ultimately our guests that we are committed to following social and environmental best practices.
Listen to Ruth, co-founder of Secret Paradise, talk about supporting local communities through tourism with the Truth Behind Travel podcast host, Dolores Semeraro.
By traveling with Secret Paradise and staying in local island guest houses, you are contributing to the local economy and increasing local employment. The properties we partner with 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 the area’s farmers and small businesses benefit. We recommend souvenir shops in Male that are off the main tourist route, where you have the opportunity to buy locally crafted products as opposed to the imported souvenirs that are sold in standard tourist souvenir shops. We attend and support local art and craft exhibitions and will take you along if an event happens during your visit.
We provide employment, good working conditions, a fair wage, and coaching and development opportunities for our local employees. Our guides are all Maldivian. Not only does this ensure you get a real insight into Maldivian life, but our guides also achieve personal development through their interaction with guests from different cultures and backgrounds.
You travel the Maldives with one of our local guides who between them have years of local knowledge and expertise to share. They are passionate about sharing their country’s culture, history, and tradition, as well as their own personal experiences.
Our tours are designed so that you not only experience the natural beauty and participate in activities commonly associated with the Maldives, but that you also have the opportunity to learn about its people and culture first hand.
Ecotourism and sustainable tourism have always been an integral part of our philosophy and part of our mission statement. As we have grown we have looked for opportunities where we can support local initiatives. We seek out ways to open up channels to allow Maldives-based organizations, NGOs, and marine-life charities the opportunity to interact with you, our guests, and in so doing increase their exposure to a wider audience. You can become actively involved in conservation programs and learn how you too can be responsible during your stay in the Maldives.
All our guests participating in ocean-based activities including swimming and snorkeling are briefed using the Green Fins Guidelines on how to be responsible in the water.
We regularly support clean-up events, tree planting, and educational events for the community. In 2018 we launched #STRAWWARMV to encourage our partners to ditch the straw and in 2019 we pledged our support to #protectmaldivesseagrass educating our team and guests on the benefits of seagrass to the environment.
We use locally owned and operated infrastructure:
- To help put profits into local hands in order that they can benefit directly
- To use services developed and managed by locals
We provide employment and business opportunities for local people
- All our guides are locals.
- With the exception of the sales director, our operations team are all local people.
- To assist in coaching and development of individuals to widen their experience and career opportunities.
We support local charities and organizations
- We encourage our guests to contribute any remaining local currency at the end of their trip to our nominated charity for that year – ARC Children’s Home.
- We support local charities through sponsorship by individuals for members of the team participating in fundraising events – ARC Children’s Home.
- We raise awareness of local initiatives through our social media sites.
We respect local customs and culture
- We want our guests to learn about local customs and cultural practices whilst respecting local dress and cultural requirements.
- It is a practice on all tours to teach basic local language and this is included on our welcome leaflet.
- Our scheduled group tours include the opportunity to eat at the home of a local family and sample local cuisine, eating in local style without the aid of cutlery.
- We provide guests with pre-trip information to ensure they understand the requirements of traveling to a locally inhabited island. We also advise them to visit their appropriate Foreign Office website to encourage awareness of social unrest or government requirements.
- A local guide accompanies our scheduled group trips from the time of arrival to departure.
- A local Secret Paradise partner representative is based at each of the guesthouses with whom we work.
For up-to-date information on our responsible and sustainable actions and initiatives please join our Facebook page and connect to our blog.
Make a Difference in the Places You Travel
When you travel to far out places you often receive generous and gracious hospitality from local people, even when they don’t have much themselves.
We believe we have a moral obligation to give something back to the people who live in the communities that we visit. It is simply the right thing to do to help people who struggle with basic needs for food, water, housing, health, and safety.
How? We support the World Nomads Footprints program to fund local community projects to end poverty.
You Can Help Too!
When you buy travel insurance(opens in a new tab) through WorldNomads.com, simply choose a project to support. Simply use this promotional code, when you get a quote and your small donation will have a positive effect on this community.