Local tour company Secret Paradise Maldives has received a commendation in the ‘Meaningful Connections’ category, at the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2020. This category recognizes tourism business and organizations that have continued to build or maintain communication through Responsible Tourism value-led marketing and social media engagement, addressing the challenge of COVID-19.
The WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards usually take place during WTM London and are a centerpiece of the WTM responsible tourism programme-the biggest responsible tourism event globally, this year the event was held virtually.
The ambition of the World Responsible Tourism Awards has always been to recognize businesses and destinations which are making tourism better and to spread good practice – to educate, inspire and challenge others to do likewise or do more. WTM London, Responsible Tourism Advisor, Emeritus Professor Harold Goodwin, stated “The Awards this year are about recognizing those in the travel and tourism sector who have made a real effort to address the impacts of COVID-19 and used their resources and facilities to make things at least a little better.”
Given that 2020 was not business as usual for travel and tourism, the judges decided to commend businesses and destinations which were taking responsibility and addressing the challenge of Covid-19 and to award Highly Commended and Commended. The usual proviso applied, the judges could only select businesses from amongst those that were nominated. We knew that everyone was under pressure this year, and they wanted to make the process of application as simple as possible. Therefore this year it was a one-step process in which nominations came from clients, the public or partners.
‘Responsible Tourism and communication play an important role in all that we do’ stated Secret Paradise Co-Founder, Ruth Franklin. ‘We are delighted to have been recognized by our guests and partners and Commended by the World Responsible Tourism Awards for ‘Meaningful Connections’ . Since the departure of our last guests in March 2020 we have worked hard to maintain open, informative and inspirational communication connections with our team, our agents, our suppliers and guests. This has ranged from weekly zoom calls to monthly update emails, media blogs and articles. From daily postings on social media channels to creating videos to inform and educate both travelers and agents about responsible tourism, safe travel and the Maldives.’
This recognition comes as Secret Paradise prepares to offer safe travel and health and hygiene standards as required by The World Travel and Tourism Council Safe Travels stamp and Maldives Safe Tourism Guidelines. Tour operations will resume in December 2020.
Guiding tours since 2012, Secret Paradise offer a carefully developed range of tours to ensure there is something for everyone, no matter the length of stay or the number of people travelling. Guest’s can choose to travel on a guided tour with one of their local guides, or travel independently, safe in the knowledge that the team has all logistics covered.
All tours provide carefully selected and audited local accommodation and travel by local transport. Secret Paradise provides education and opportunities to ‘give back’ . Learn about corals, marine-life, sea grass, mangroves and what happens to plastic, through presentations and experiences provided by their local tour leaders.
Traveling with Secret Paradise isn’t just about exploring the Maldives and enjoying the beautiful beaches and tropical waters. It’s about discovering authentic experiences and off-the-beaten-path locations that you didn’t even know were there to discover.