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Embracing sustainable travel and wellness: A path to conscious exploration



In recent years, the world has witnessed a remarkable shift in the way people approach travel. With a growing concern for the environment and personal well-being, the concept of sustainable travel and wellness has emerged as a transformative trend in the tourism industry. This column explores the importance of this emerging trend and highlights how tourists and families can adopt responsible behavior to make a positive impact while enjoying their journeys.

Sustainable tourism involves minimizing the environmental impact of tourism, supporting local economies and communities, and visiting lesser-known destinations. Its practices include conserving energy and water, serving local and seasonal food, managing waste responsibly, and making conscious choices as a traveler.

You might be familiar with terms like “green travel,” “green tourism,” “ecotourism,” “ethical tourism,” “responsible travel,” and others that are similar. However, these concepts go beyond simple actions such as reusing hotel towels or taking a reusable water bottle when going out.

The Significance of Sustainable Travel and Wellness

  • Sustainable travel and wellness encompass a holistic approach that considers the well-being of individuals, communities, and the planet. It acknowledges the interconnectedness of human health, natural ecosystems, and local cultures. By embracing this concept, travelers contribute to the preservation of fragile environments, support local economies, and promote a more ethical and inclusive tourism industry.

The need for sustainable travel and wellness arises from the consequences of unsustainable tourism practices witnessed in the past. Communities neglected or suffering due to tourism development, as well as ecological disasters caused by unchecked human activities, serve as stark reminders of the importance of prioritizing sustainability.

  • Learning from Past Mistakes
  • Below are frequent issues and responses to them:
  • Water conservation: minimizing the impact of tourism on local water supplies;
  • Pollution reduction: saying no to single-use plastics in travel;
  • Supporting local communities: preserving economy, culture, and community;
  • Carbon footprint reduction: traveling slow and sustainable;
  • Protecting ocean health: being mindful of marine environments.

Responsible Tourism Behaviors:

To truly embrace the essence of sustainable travel and wellness, tourists and families should adopt the following responsible behaviors:

Mindful Destination Selection:

Choose destinations that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. Look for eco-certifications, sustainable tourism initiatives, and local conservation efforts. Opt for places that value their cultural heritage and implement responsible tourism practices.

Support Local Economies:

Engage in responsible consumption by supporting local businesses, including accommodations, restaurants, and tour operators. By doing so, you contribute directly to the well-being of local communities while fostering economic growth that benefits both residents and visitors.

Minimize Environmental Footprint:

Reduce your ecological impact by practicing eco-friendly habits such as using reusable water bottles, minimizing plastic waste, and opting for public transportation or eco-friendly modes of travel whenever possible. Respect the natural surroundings, adhere to designated trails, and avoid activities that harm wildlife or ecosystems.

Embrace Cultural Respect:

Immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions by respecting local customs, traditions, and etiquette. Educate yourself about the cultural heritage of the destination and interact respectfully with local communities, valuing their perspectives and ways of life.

Engage in Meaningful Experiences:

Seek out authentic experiences that allow for personal growth and connection. Engage in sustainable tourism activities such as volunteering for community projects, participating in cultural exchanges, or learning about local conservation efforts. These experiences not only benefit the destination but also provide a deeper understanding of the issues faced by local communities.

Spread Awareness:

Share your experiences and knowledge about sustainable travel and wellness with others. Through social media, blog posts, or conversations, inspire and educate fellow travelers on the importance of responsible tourism. Encourage them to make conscious choices that promote positive change.

Travel companies increasingly engage more ambassadors to promote sustainable travel initiatives, and rightly so. For example, Kammui, a nature-experience platform in Japan, reinvented the idea of travel for nature enthusiasts offering 200+ guided experiences from meditation to sport adventures in wilderness.

Sustainable travel and wellness represent a transformative shift in the tourism industry, emphasizing the need for responsible practices that benefit both travelers and the destinations they visit. By adopting mindful behaviors and supporting sustainable initiatives, tourists and families can contribute to the preservation of ecosystems, cultures, and the well-being of local communities. Let us embrace this emerging trend, leaving a positive impact on the places we explore, and nurturing a more sustainable and harmonious future for generations to come.

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Angsana Velavaru presents ‘Live to Discover’ offer



Angsana Velavaru, an all-inclusive premium resort in South Nilandhe Atoll, Maldives invites guests to ‘LIVE to DISCOVER’– to dive into vibrant cultural experiences, soak in breathtaking scenery, and paint unforgettable memories.

With the limited-time ‘LIVE to DISCOVER’ offer, guests can take advantage of 30% off the Best Available Rate, along with other unforgettable perks. This is more than just a holiday. It is an invitation to escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary. Travel More. Live More.

The offer also includes the following:

  • Complimentary Upgrade to All-Inclusive Premium package
  • Spa and Recreation Credit of USD 75 per person, per night
  • 25% savings on Seaplane Transfers (for a minimum stay of 3 nights)
  • Complimentary sunset cruise, once per stay
  • Daily guided house reef snorkelling
  • Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
  • For InOcean Pool Villa categories only: Complimentary floating breakfast for two, once per stay

For families staying 4 nights or more, one child below 12 years old can enjoy a complimentary stay and dining experience while sharing existing bedding with parents in the same villa, under the same meal plan booked by the adults.

Beyond the typical beach getaway, explore Angsana Velavaru ‘101 Things to Do.’ From water adventures to wellness activities and cultural explorations, guests can dive into a myriad of experiences for an exciting and enriching holiday. With this, it provides the perfect setting for multigenerational families or group of friends to come together and create lifelong memories.

In addition to fun and relaxation, Angsana Velavaru offers educational opportunities for guests to learn about the local culture and environment, allowing them to gain valuable insights while fostering a deeper appreciation for the Maldives’ rich heritage and biodiversity. The resort is committed to environmental sustainability and responsible tourism practices, giving guests the opportunity to take part in eco-friendly initiatives such as coral reef conservation efforts or reef clean-up activities and to contribute positively to the preservation of the Maldives’ fragile ecosystem.

Furthermore, the resort’s commitment to preserving the local culture shines through in an immersive Boduberu performance every Friday. As the sun sets, guests gather to witness a vibrant display of drums and dance, with the beats echoing tales of the Maldivian folklore and celebrations.

Part of Banyan Group, an independent, global hospitality company with purpose, Angsana Velavaru is a vibrant tropical getaway offering 79 private villas, all with beach frontage, and a cluster of 34 InOcean Villas.

The ‘LIVE to DISCOVER’offer is valid for reservations secured from now until 2 June 2024, with flexible stays until 23 December 2024. For further queries and reservations, contact or +960 676 8464.

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‘All-inclusive’ stays most popular at Kandooma Maldives



While global cost of living pinches, ‘all-inclusive’ stays grow.

Award-winning Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives has crunched the numbers and ‘All-inclusive’ stays are now at their most popular. The 15-hectare private island paradise in South Male Atoll, just a 40-minute boat ride from Velana International Airport has established itself with families, couples, and groups over several years.  In Quarter 1 2024, the Resort says 32.19% of total stays booked an All-inclusive experience. At Kandooma guests can choose between a soft or alcohol All-inclusive stay, with the latter showing a whopping 40.9% growth since 1 January.

Regarding the growth of All-inclusive stays and customer preferences, Sharon Garrett, Director of Marketing shares, “Our guests are looking for value and our All-inclusive dining plan delivers in spades.”

So are we all drinking more, or is it just the comfort of knowing it’s all included?

“We are not necessarily drinking more, but I certainly do think many people like to enjoy a sundowner or a cocktail while on holiday, and a fancy coffee.  In a remote location, those costs add up quickly and if there is a great drinks list and a mixologist on the bar with a bit of sparkle, you are more likely to indulge in more than just one on holiday.”

She adds that the All-inclusive offering has recently been upgraded.

“I think it’s fair to say that all of the resorts in the Maldives recognise that we can be perceived as a little pricey with everything being transported into the individual islands, most often from abroad. With that in mind and that people in many of our feeder markets are feeling the pinch with greater costs of living at the moment, travellers are becoming more savvy and want to budget their getaways. They are not necessarily cancelling a trip because of tighter budgets or reducing the number of nights, but rather, pricing it up and seeking greater value.”

“As a resort that sits in the mid-market, just beneath the five-star ranking, we are conscious now, as much as ever, that guests use all the digital tools at their disposal to compare the different offerings, and we work hard to remain competitive.”

Kandooma has just refreshed its All-inclusive offering.  Though it seems like more of an overhaul than just a simple refresh, it includes everything from more discount privileges at the Spa and specialty dining to afternoon tea snacks, ice cream hours, and much more.

The refreshed All-inclusive plan at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets at Kandooma Cafe the resort’s all-day dining restaurant which showcases international favourites as well as Maldivian flavours
    Option to enjoy an a la carte option for lunch or dinner at Bokkuraa Coffee Club on the pool deck
    Afternoon tea snacks
    Ice Cream hour
    Unlimited Drinks including wines, beers, mixed drinks, cocktails and special coffees from 11am to 11pm daily (using quality brands); the soft option includes mocktails, smoothies, milkshakes and more.
    20% discount privilege at Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala
    50% discount privilege on Mini Bar
    Welcome drink on Check-in
    Complimentary non-motorised activities (excl Catamaran)

Coming second in the meal plan preference stakes (by less than a percentage point) is the Half Board option which includes buffet Breakfast and Dinner at the resort’s all-day dining international restaurant, Kandooma Cafe. With 31.42% of all stays opting for Half Board.

“The numbers revealed some interesting trends, even for us, with less than a quarter of all guests, 22.83% choosing bed and breakfast,”

2023 Winner of Leading Family Resort Maldives and Best Dive Resort Maldives, Kandooma is a private and natural island. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and turquoise waters form the backdrop for a wide variety of leisure pursuits and some of the best diving in the Maldives. Guests can choose from Garden and Beach Villas, two-storey Beach Houses and the popular Overwater Villas for their stay. Families are well catered for with the Kandoo Kids’ Club and a full activities programme supported by the IHG Kids’ Stay & Eat Free initiative. Six food and beverage outlets ensure you’ll eat like a King and have the opportunity to not only indulge in your favourites from around the world but sample the flavours of the Maldives too.  You might just be inspired to book one of the resort’s terrific cooking classes.  For those guests who desire the ultimate in relaxation, sun loungers and hammocks are located around the island and the Kandooma Spa by COMO Shambhala offers the ultimate in tranquillity and escape for body and mind.  Visit

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SO/ Maldives celebrates Orthodox Easter with celebrity chef Mirko Zago



SO/ Maldives is gearing up for Orthodox Easter with a special event featuring renowned celebrity Chef Mirko Zago. From May 5th to May 8th, guests can embark on an exceptional culinary journey curated by the acclaimed chef.

Chef Mirko, known for his impressive background and Michelin-recognized dishes, will present a series of exclusive dining experiences with a Mediterranean flair. The highlight is the “Via Con Me” (Follow Me) 6-course signature menu on May 5th and 8th, taking guests on a delectable exploration of Chef Mirko’s iconic flavors.

On May 6th, guests can participate in a unique culinary masterclass led by Chef Mirko himself. Learn the art of crafting homemade pasta while enjoying stunning panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

Beyond the culinary delights, SO/ Maldives offers fun-filled activities for children at The Nest kids club, ensuring a memorable family experience. Guests seeking wellness can also avail themselves of services from Dr. A. Aradhana, a renowned holistic healer available at the resort until May 15th.

Treat your family to a luxurious Easter escape at SO/ Maldives. For more information and bookings, visit SO/ Hotels & Resorts: 

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