Much of the current tourism development in the Maldives does not seem sustainable in terms of its impact on the environment or on the economy, writes Friends of Maldives (FoM) NGO founder David Hardingham for Tourism Concern, a UK-based charity ‘fighting exploitation in tourism’.
“Tourism has already played a pivotal role in bringing democracy to the country. It will also be the means by which the country achieves economic recovery. Now the ethical tourist’s attention must turn to sustainable tourism.
“Preference must be given to resorts making efforts at recycling, alternative energy and environmental protection (with particular reference to the coral reef ecosystem). The government must be called to task on these issues.
“A new and exciting development is that of the family-owned guesthouse. This sector of the industry deserves whatever help it can get – especially since benefits will flow directly to those most in need. The finest beaches in the world await the intrepid traveller who wants to see the real Maldives.”