With our global community becoming hyper-connected and increasingly aware of how our individual actions impact the planet at large, ecotourism is increasingly at the forefront of travel decision-making.
According to a study published in March 2021, ecotourism spends worldwide accounted for 181.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 and is forecasted to reach 333.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2027, accounting for 14.% growth. If you’re one of the travelers choosing to invest in ecologically sound travel, the Maldives is a destination where sustainability isn’t just a buzzword, but vital to the continued evolution of the world’s lowest-lying country.
Here at SmartFlyer, we’re always looking for exciting and enriching ways to travel while still being able to make a positive impact. If you’re looking for a spot that checks all those boxes, look no further than Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, the inaugural flagship property from sophisticated new lifestyle brand Patina Hotels & Resorts. Set in the Fari Islands archipelago in North Malé Atoll, guests can immerse themselves in a new expression of island life through thoughtful seaborne journeys, interactive programs, and captivating culinary experiences. The brand has been championing a new interpretation of “perpetuality” that’s rooted in the belief that the choice we each make can create lasting change.
Here are four ways that this exciting new property is making the Maldives the go-to place to get engaged with Planet Earth.
- Ocean conservation comes first, always
- The conscious cuisine choices are exceptional
- This is a place built on R(enewability) & R(eusability)
- They’re empowering an eco-conscious generation
1. Ocean conservation comes first, always
For every stay, ten kilograms of marine plastic will be collected, cleaned, and repurposed into Parley ocean plastic material.
The Maldives wouldn’t be known as one of the world’s best vacation spots without the incredible ocean-based ecology that surrounds its twenty atolls. Patina Maldives is making strides to ensure that the ecotourism paradise it resides in is kept safe for generations to come. The property has set ambitious goals to tackle marine plastic pollution and implement a comprehensive coral propagation project, helping establish the Fari Islands as a new standard-bearer for marine conservation in the Maldives.
In addition to these longer-term projects, Halevai Founder and longtime Parley for the Oceans crew member Frank Heidinger is collaborating with Fari Islands to bring a disruptive creativity to guest programming to raise environmental awareness within the archipelago. For example, the resort will lead regular guest and team beach clean-ups both on-resort and on neighboring local islands: for every stay, ten kilograms of marine plastic will be collected, cleaned, and repurposed into Parley ocean plastic material.
Patina Maldives has also formed a strategic alliance with the Olive Ridley Project, a charitable organization that provides rehabilitation to injured turtles from the Indian Ocean. Sea turtles are incredibly vulnerable to ghost nets and mistake plastic waste for consumable sustenance, leading to general ill-health and malnutrition. Guests will also be encouraged to adopt a turtle during their stay at the resort, strengthening the connection between guests and their surrounding environment as well as helping the Olive Ridley Project dive deeper into researching and understanding the threats to these peaceful ocean dwellers.
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2. The conscious cuisine choices are exceptional
Patina Maldives’s many signature dining experiences – is the manifestation of the latter: a conscientious lifestyle and plant-based concept…
In an age where conscious consumption is at the top of everyone’s minds, Patina Maldives is the ideal ecotourism destination to experience what every ecologically sound diet should look like. The culinary concept on the North Malé Atoll is based on the nose-to-tail, root-to-leaf principle: a concept that both minimizes waste and advocates the benefits of a plant-based diet. Roots – one of Patina Maldives’s many signature dining experiences – is the manifestation of the latter: a conscientious lifestyle and plant-based concept that was created responsibly for curious foodies seeking nutritional food and drink without compromising flavor and quality.
All this is accomplished in an environment where ingredients are ethically produced: Patina Maldives also constructed an on-island organic permaculture garden where fresh produce is cultivated for departments all across the island, effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions during the supply chain process. This development is so immersive that guests are encouraged to explore and even forage their own variety of vegetables and herbs available within the garden. All drinking water on the island is produced and bottled in-house with the help of their on-island Nordaq water bottling plant. In addition, every cocktail and spirit served at Patina Maldives, including their always-bustling Fari Beach Club, will begin using distribution tech ecoSPIRITS to distribute low-carbon low-waste mixes to begin eradicating packaging and class waste from their supply chain.
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3. This is a place built on R(enewability) & R(eusability)
“Our archipelago at Fari Islands provides us with a scalable opportunity to positively impact our construction…and most importantly, community, directly.”
Right down to its foundations, Patina knows how important it is to guests for a property to be constructed in a way that complements its environment and captures an authentically empowering Maldives ecotourism experience. During construction, the resort implemented sustainable practices such as the use of prefabricated materials to significantly reduce energy consumption, waste, and carbon emissions versus conventional construction methods. Locally sourced, biodegradable, and reusable materials were used wherever possible; even the timber used to construct the beautiful villas and Fari Studios is sourced from 100 percent transparent supply chains. And as construction continued, all workers were provided with reusable water bottles to ensure the sites stayed free of harmful plastic bottles.
Patina Maldives has also been charting a course towards a future in ecotourism travel that uses its sun-kissed surroundings to its advantage. As part of the resort’s commitment towards reliance on renewable energy, plans are in place to expand its Swimsol solar plant to provide fifty percent of the resort’s energy needs by 2030. This includes power to a fully solar-powered transportation fleet that will continue to usher guests all across this island paradise. “Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, is well aware of the global challenges that are affecting the worldwide carbon footprint,” says Marco den Ouden, General Manager of the resort. “Our archipelago at Fari Islands provides us with a scalable opportunity to positively impact our construction, supply chain, operational standards, marine biosphere, and most importantly, community, directly.”
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4. They’re empowering an eco-conscious generation
…kids can indulge their hungry young minds in crafting dishes to help discover…the best of sustainable plant-based cuisine.
Every moment traveling is an opportunity for young ones to absorb information about the world around us, and this Maldives ecotourism destination takes that to a new level by planting seeds to nurture sustainable values in tomorrow’s travelers. Embodying this forward-thinking approach, Patina’s pioneering kids center Footprints is a place where families can effectively engage in programming and exceptional facilities – each one completely powered by the array of solar panels found all across the Maldives. At Footprints’s Fab Lab, kids can turn recycled ocean plastic into models using 3D printing and laser cutting technology, a practice that echoes the energy-saving prefabrication techniques used in constructing the resort’s modular villas. In their culinary studio, kids can indulge their hungry young minds in crafting dishes to help discover the benefits of local, organic sourcing, as well as enjoy the best of sustainable plant-based cuisine.
In order to help raise a new generation of ocean conservationists, families raising budding marine biologists can sign up for free diving lessons while free PADI dive certifications are also offered for local Maldivian children. Reflecting their firm belief in seeding opportunity and empowerment by creating a healthy, balanced, economic ecosystem, a percentage of Patina Maldives’s profits will be used to fund a range of charitable initiatives that largely focus on supporting Maldivian women and children, as well as neighboring local communities that are most heavily impacted by global climate change.