Barefoot luxury pioneer Soneva has announced the publication of its Total Impact Assessment (TIA) for 2021 in its latest Sustainability Report. The award-winning resort brand, which has properties in the Maldives and Thailand, is built on the foundation that a business must exist for a greater purpose than shareholder returns. Soneva recognises that luxury travel and the pursuit of rare experiences can coexist with a deep care for the earth, the environment and its people and continually strives to set the benchmark for responsible tourism.
Soneva first launched its Total Impact Assessment (TIA) back in 2016, to measure its Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) and Total Impact Measurement and Management (TIMM). While there is currently no industry standard for environmental and social reporting, Soneva has developed its methodology internally with the intention to improve year-on-year. Taking a ‘planetary boundaries’ view of its social and environmental impact, the TIA assesses impacts from sources over which Soneva has both direct and indirect control, including natural capital, human capital, social capital, economic capital and tax.
Carbon neutral since 2012, a mandatory 2% environmental levy is added to every Soneva stay, with proceeds going towards the not-for-profit Soneva Foundation to offset both direct and indirect carbon emissions from resort activities and guest flights. The Foundation funds a range of global projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact, and result in a net absorption of CO2.
Key Highlights from 2021
- In December, the first phase of the Soneva Coral Propagation Project was completed in partnership with the Swiss environmental organisation Coralive, with 432 table structures ready for coral planting at Soneva Fushi. The project aims to create the world’s largest Mineral Accretion Technology (MAT) coral nursery, propagating 50,000 coral fragments each year.
- In 2021, the Myanmar Stoves Campaign successfully completed eight years in operation. Since its inception, 37,000 stoves have been distributed, benefitting 170,000 people and generating USD 28 million in social value and 240,000 Gold Standard carbon credits.
- The Restaurants Against Hunger project reached its second successful year in 2021. The three-year programme aims to reduce child hunger and malnutrition in Bangladesh.
- The first pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills arrived on Koh Kood in December last year as part of the Soneva Hornbill Project, aiming to reintroduce the species to the Thai island.
- Initiated in 2021, Soneva Forest Restoration Mozambique is a partnership between the Soneva Foundation and Eden Reforestation Projects to plant 3.7 million trees over the next four years in Matica Sede, Mozambique, which will mitigate 2.4 million tons of CO2. Planting commenced in early 2022 and aims to restore 3,378 hectares of forest using native species in central Mozambique.
- In 2021, the Mosquito Project reached a milestone of 2.5 years without pesticide fogging at Soneva Fushi and 1.5 years at Soneva Jani. During this time, the mosquito population has dropped by 98%. The project team also developed a hand sanitiser from a waste stream of the mosquito traps, which was validated by three independent labs in 2021.
- Soneva Namoona expanded from its initial three island partnerships to 11 across the Maldives’ Baa Atoll and Noonu Atoll.
- In December 2021, Soneva Namoona achieved a Maldives’ first: the seven Namoona islands in the Baa Atoll commissioned a recyclable waste collection boat to collect 50 tonnes of segregated, compacted and baled recyclable waste and transport it overseas for recycling.
- Over 101,680 single-use plastic bottles were avoided in 2021 through Soneva Water operations and the provision of alternative packaging.
- 100,191 kilograms of recyclables were diverted from landfill or toxic open burning and delivered to recycling partners in 2021.
- 390 young people improved their swimming skills through the Inspire Swimming Programme, and 14 new swimming instructors received training.
- 84,000 nappies were removed from five Namoona islands – Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, Kihaadhoo, Dhonfanu and Kamadhoo.
- Soneva’s Waste-to-Wealth concept generated USD 427,000 in value in 2021. This brings the total value generated over the last decade to USD 2.6 million.
- The Makers’ Place opened at Soneva Fushi in August 2021. Built in partnership with British artist Alexander James Hamilton, founder of Distil Ennui Studio™, this carbon-neutral island studio upcycled 50-60 kg of aluminium into art pieces within four months of operation.
Award-winning Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives launches indulgence winter offer
Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives recently announced scooping up the title of “Best Boutique Resort in Maldives” for the second consecutive year, awarded by the Travel Trade Maldives which comes as no surprise as it is one of the best destinations to experience the unreal sunsets you will ever see while projecting extravagant character and easy-going exotica.
What’s really shaking things up this holiday season at this cozy luxury boutique island resort is that you will be spoiled for choice with one beach for every day. That is right – home to four beautiful beaches, Wai, Veli, Dhigu, and Divehi, all with their unique character – letting you sunbathe, snorkel, windsurf, and cycle overwater around the island to your heart’s content. Touching down at Kodhipparu, adventure seekers can revel in countless opportunities for wild coral reef dives, parasailing up the sky for a bird’s-eye view of the lagoon, or even simply zen out to sunrise and sunset with the resident yogi.
To celebrate the win, and to rev up the appetite with seaside excursions, the resort announced the launch of the exclusive “Kodhipparu Indulgence” offer with an unparalleled dining experience and a consequential gourmet coma that is fully worth every penny you’ve spent on your extravagant holiday.
Set your seaside expedition dreams to a reality, with attractive offerings from the resort-owned marine sports centre as well as the luxury overwater spa, that will have you wanting to extend your holiday. What’s more, you get to enjoy complimentary roundtrip speedboat transfers saving you quite a few pennies on your vacation.
The little explorers with big dreams are welcome to stay and dine free of charge sharing the room with the parents, whether it is by spending their time decorating some yummy cupcakes or catching a kiddies movie under the stars with popcorn.
If you are looking for a romantic touch, with an ample amount of floating rose petals in your pool, or a swoon-worthy proposal set up at a secret corner of the island out of bounds to others or even a candle-lit dinner on the secluded beaches with you and your beau, all you have to do is message your lifestyle host to work the magic and make it happen for you. With the Kodhipparu dedicated lifestyle host service, everything is just a message away.
As is all good things, this offer is only for a limited time period, so make use of this exclusive indulgence package at Grand Park Kodhipparu comes with an amazing 35% discount on all villa categories.
Simply head over to https://www.parkhotelgroup.com/north-male-atoll/grand-park-kodhipparu-maldives/offers/winter-getaway/ to book your holiday with a flair of fun, freedom, and serenity that is promised to make you keep coming back for more!
Abdulla Wisam: A journey of excellence and growth in the Maldivian hospitality industry
In the heart of the stunning Maldives, where luxury resorts and crystal-clear waters come together to create a paradise on Earth, there are individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that every guest’s experience is nothing short of exceptional. One such individual is Abdulla Wisam, whose remarkable journey in the hospitality industry is a testament to his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to providing the best possible service to guests.
Abdulla Wisam’s journey in the hospitality industry began right after completing his schooling. In 2003, he embarked on his professional career by joining Dhoveli Beach Resort & Spa, where he gained his first taste of the world of hospitality. It was here that he discovered his passion for creating memorable guest experiences and building relationships with visitors from around the world.
After his initial foray into the industry, Wisam’s career path continued to evolve. His dedication and hard work caught the attention of industry leaders, leading him to take on roles of increasing responsibility. His time at Meeru Island Resort saw him as an Outlet Cashier and Night Auditor, roles that allowed him to develop a deep understanding of the operational aspects of a resort.
Wisam’s determination and eagerness to learn led him to the iconic Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, where he started as a Recreation Attendant. Over time, he showcased his exceptional skills in guest relations and management, and he was promoted to the position of Front Office Supervisor. His journey with Four Seasons served as a stepping stone for what was to come next.
In 2014, Wisam joined the W Maldives, a resort known for its luxurious offerings and unparalleled guest experiences. Starting as a Welcome Team Leader, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his impeccable guest service skills and innate leadership abilities. His promotion to Guest Experience Manager was a testament to his ability to not only meet but exceed guest expectations. He was then transferred to The St. Regis Maldives as the Assistant Front Office Manager with the pre-opening team.
As his career trajectory continued its upward trajectory, Wisam took on the role of Front Office Manager at prestigious resorts such as Milaidhoo Island, Raffles Maldives, and The Standard Maldives. These roles allowed him to refine his management style, hone his problem-solving skills, and contribute to the overall success of each resort.
Wisam’s journey eventually led him to COMO Cocoa Island, a resort renowned for its unparalleled luxury and exquisite attention to detail. Joining as the Front Office Manager, he embraced the challenges and responsibilities that came with the position. His dedication, combined with his innate ability to create genuine connections with guests, led to his promotion as the Director of Rooms.
Wisam’s journey in the Maldivian hospitality industry is a remarkable tale of perseverance, growth, and a genuine passion for creating exceptional guest experiences. His diverse roles, spanning from recreation to guest experience management, have equipped him with a holistic understanding of the industry. His commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to delivering top-tier service have not only benefited the resorts he’s been a part of but have also contributed to elevating the reputation of Maldives as a premier luxury travel destination.
As Wisam continues to shape the guest experience landscape at COMO Cocoa Island, one can only imagine the heights he will reach and the impact he will make on the ever-evolving hospitality industry of the Maldives. His journey stands as an inspiration to aspiring hoteliers and a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who are truly passionate about their craft.
A remarkable tale of wanderlust: Naito Takashi’s 103rd journey to the Maldives
The azure waters of the Maldives have long been a magnet for travelers seeking paradise on Earth. Among these wanderers, one name stands out – Naito Takashi, a Japanese tourist whose boundless enthusiasm for the Maldives has led him to visit this tropical haven a staggering 103 times. His unwavering love for this island nation, coupled with its mesmerizing beauty, has turned his visits into a remarkable testament to the allure of the Maldives.
For the past 24 years, Naito Takashi has visited Maldives between three to five times annually, embarking on a journey that has spanned more than two decades. His tale is one of dedication, passion, and a deep-rooted connection with the captivating landscapes that the Maldives offers. Each visit is not just a vacation; it’s a renewal of his profound relationship with the natural wonders that have captured his heart.
Naito Takashi’s 103rd arrival to the Maldives was met with a warm and heartfelt welcome from none other than the Tourism Minister himself, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. This gesture symbolizes the deep appreciation the Maldivian people have for their loyal and devoted visitors. The ceremony held aboard the M/V Blue of the Fun Azul Fleet was a fitting tribute to a traveler who has become an honorary ambassador of the Maldives.
The M/V Blue, Fun Azul Fleet, holds special significance for Naito Takashi. As an avid diver, he has found his perfect companion in this cruise boat specialized in diving charters. The vessel offers schedules tailored to explore the best dive spots around the Maldives’ islands, making it an ideal partner for a diving enthusiast like Naito Takashi. The crystal-clear waters of the Maldives have witnessed countless underwater escapades orchestrated by this intrepid traveler.
The Maldives’ Ministry of Tourism has lauded Naito Takashi’s enduring passion for the nation’s beauty. Their tweet acknowledging his multiple visits serves as a testament to his unique and cherished relationship with the country. He has witnessed the ever-changing landscape of the Maldives, from its pristine beaches to its vibrant marine life, and has undoubtedly contributed to the thriving tourism industry.
Naito Takashi’s story also reflects the profound impact that travel can have on an individual’s life. His unwavering commitment to exploring the Maldives has not only enriched his own experiences but has also brought attention to the natural wonders of Maldives. It stands as a reminder that the act of traveling is not just about ticking off destinations from a bucket list; it’s about forming connections, fostering appreciation, and creating lasting memories.
As Naito Takashi continues his journey through the Maldives, his story resonates as an inspiration to fellow travelers and a tribute to the unyielding allure of this island paradise. His 103rd visit is not just a numerical milestone; it’s a celebration of an extraordinary bond between a traveler and a destination, a bond that has grown stronger with each passing year and promises to endure for years to come.
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