Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts CEO Katie Taylor yesterday received two prestigious Conde’ Nast World Savers Awards, on behalf of the company’s resorts in the Maldives.
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and Landu Giraavaru resorts have been awarded the Conde’ Nast World Savers Awards in the categories of ‘Wildlife Conservation’, as well as the overall ‘Doing it all’ award.
“It’s in Four Seasons’ DNA to take steps to support the local community and environment in every destination where we operate; our social and environmental efforts in the Maldives date back to 1998,” said Regional Vice President of Four Seasons Resorts Maldives, Armando Kraenzlin.
Four Seasons Maldives also came runner up in the ‘Education’ category, one of six areas of social responsibility judged by an independent panel, which also include ‘Preservation (Environment and Cultural)’, ‘Health Initiatives’ and ‘Poverty Relief’.
A record 111 applications which were received this year for the luxury travel magazine’s awards, which are now in their sixth year.
A press release from Four Seasons explained that the company’s coral reef regeneration project, now in its 15th year, had become one of the most successful in the world.
The project started after 1998’s major El Niño–event destroyed most of the country’s shallow reef coral and has been assisted by marine consulting firm Seamarc since 2004.
Four Seasons also runs a Hospitality Apprenticeship Scheme in the Maldives which this year will offer 50 young Maldivians a year’s vocational training in food and beverage preparation, service, maritime transport, housekeeping and guest services, PADI dive master and water sports.
The program, which has been operating for a decade, is open to young Maldivians aged 17-20, with O-level certifications and has seen more 265 young Maldivians graduate, said the company’s release.
Earlier this year Four Seasons Kuda Huraa worked with the local community of neighbouring Bodu Huraa and pest control consultant Trudy Rilling-Collins to introduce sustainable and environmentally-friendly mosquito control procedures.
Four Seasons stated that they had also contributed to projects involving two resort water-bottling plants, plant nurseries, local education and awareness outreach programs, health initiatives in support of local islands, support for local artisans, teachers and the Manta Trust charity.
Whilst the company was receiving its awards at the Lincoln Center in New York, Four Seasons Kuda Huraa were conducting a climate change workshop focusing on coral reefs and tourism, hosted by Seamarc marine biologist Patrik Svensson.
“Moving forward, the team at Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru is committed to working closely with local communities and agencies to ensure that the Baa Atoll World Biosphere becomes a world-class example of its kind, while at Kuda Huraa, the focus is very much on continuing to develop the Maldivian Sea Turtle Conservation Programme,” continued the release.
Earlier this week, Sylvia Jagerroos – a marine biologist working with Four Season’s partner Seamarc – discovered a dismembered turtle on the uninhabited island of Funadhoo in Baa Atoll, one of the country’s 14 priority nesting beaches legally protected under Maldivian law.