Gratuity scheme to generate income for marine park

Luxury resort Diva Maldives has introduced a voluntary gratuity scheme to encourage guests to contribute to the whale shark conservation.

The resort is located in the Maldives’ first regulated Marine Protected Area (MPA), Fenmaadhiguran, which is home to a globally significant number of whale sharks. The resort claims that the income from the gratuity scheme will allow improved business, education and employment opportunities for the local community.

The 42 kilometre MPA was opened in July after lobbying by the conservation charity Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme. The charity claims the MPA will protect important species and habitats in the area from overfishing, unregulated tourism and pollution.