Four Seasons Maldives and Soneva Resorts Wins Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award 2012
Maldives Promotion House – Four Seasons Resorts Maldives and Soneva Resorts has won Condé Nast Traveler World Savers award 2012.
For this award Condé Nast Traveler recognizes tourism companies that are working hard toward making the world a better place. Categories considered for this award are education – building schools, openings minds; health – funding clinics, fighting decease; poverty – enriching local communities; preservation – championing heritage, greening the planet; wildlife – protecting habitats, saving species; and doing it all.
Four Seasons Resorts Maldives, Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru has won the award for ‘Doing It All’ and ‘Wildlife Conservation’ categories. They run a turtle conservation and a reef restoration program. The resorts have also planted more than 2,000 frames with coral attached to help revive the reefs, 90 percent of which died in 1998 due to ocean warming. An apprenticeship program trains 17- to 20-year-olds from other Maldivian islands; one of the 265 graduate is now executive chef to the Maldivian president.
Soneva Resorts won the award for ‘Doing It All’. The barefoot-chic Soneva Resorts are all about the surrounding turquoise waters, and the company has made water part of its commitment to doing the right thing. Soneva banned imported bottled water and instead sells its own water in reusable glass containers. The benefits are twofold: It eliminates carbon emissions from transporting plastic bottles, and 50 percent of the water revenue helps fund global water projects. More than $600,000 has been raised so far, helping about 600,000 people in 52 countries.
Doing good is part of founder Sonu Shivdasani’s SLOW LIFE philosophy—Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wellness, Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences. Bungalows are made by locals, using sustainable materials, and most of the organic food is grown in the area. “We try to create experiences that have a sustainable approach and which get people in touch with nature in an unforgettable fashion. That’s true luxury,” says Arnfinn Oines, the company’s Social & Environmental Conscience (no kidding). Soneva dedicates 0.5 percent of its revenue to a fund that supports social and environmental projects around the world