How to practise ecotourism in the Maldives

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How To Practise Ecotourism In The Maldives

5 Ways To Enjoy A Sustainable Adventure In Paradise

Ever pictured yourself in the Maldives? Minutes can pass without you noticing, while your imaginary self is served a cocktail as you kick back in that tropical paradise known for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and vibrant marine life…

Now snap back to reality and listen to this: if you’ve got the Maldives on your Bucket List, no-one can blame you – but at The Bucket List Company, we’re keen to make sure that this precious place stays, well, precious.

So put your pretend cocktail down for a moment and let’s talk about how responsible travellers can practise ecotourism and how to minimise your environmental impact when you visit the Maldives


Why Do The Maldives Need Protecting? 

The Maldives are facing several critical environmental challenges that make protection and conservation efforts crucial right now. Like…

  • Rising sea levels: The Maldives is one of the world’s lowest-lying countries, with the highest point above sea level being just 5.1 metres. As sea levels continue to rise, the Maldives is at risk of inundation, which could result in the displacement of its population and the loss of its unique culture and heritage.
  • Coral bleaching: The Maldives boasts some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world, which play a vital role in the marine ecosystem. However, coral reefs in the region are highly vulnerable to coral bleaching caused by elevated sea temperatures. Bleaching events weaken and kill corals, leading to the loss of habitat for marine life and decreased tourism appeal.
  • Unsustainable fishing practices in other destinations: The Maldives has one of the most sustainable fishing industries in the world. Ghost nets come into the Maldives on the currents endangering turtles as well as pelagic marine life. This ultimately has a knock on effect on the population of marine life that protect the corals from algae through their feeding habits.
  • Plastic pollution: Like many other coastal regions, the Maldives faces the challenge of plastic pollution. Plastic waste, especially in the form of single-use plastics, can harm marine life, damage coral reefs, and spoil the natural beauty of the islands. 
  • Tourism impact: While tourism is a significant source of revenue for the Maldives, it can also have negative environmental impacts if not managed sustainably. Overdevelopment, excessive water and energy consumption in luxury resorts, and improper waste disposal can harm those fragile ecosystems.
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What Can You Do To Protect The Maldives When You Tick It Off Your Bucket List?

You might not feel like an eco-warrior, but there’s SO much you can do to minimise your impact and support the sustainability plight of the Maldives, and lots of it is surprisingly easy. So let’s take you on an eco-adventure, starting with…

  1. Ecotourism in The Maldives: dive into eco-friendly adventures

If you’re a diving enthusiast, the Maldives is your underwater playground. But to practise ecotourism, it’s crucial to do so responsibly. Choose eco-certified dive operators that follow sustainable practices. They often prioritise reef-friendly sunscreen, limit the number of divers on a site, and educate visitors about protecting fragile ecosystems.

Remember, while diving, avoid touching or damaging the coral. Admire it from a safe distance to help preserve these precious underwater gardens for future generations. Keep an eye out for marine life but maintain a respectful distance, allowing them to thrive without disturbance.

  1. Offset your plane journey

Jetting off to a remote island paradise like the Maldives usually involves a long-haul flight. No getting around it, but fear not, you can still be an eco-conscious traveller without hiking your way there over land. 

Consider offsetting your carbon emissions by investing in carbon offset programs. Many airlines offer this option, allowing you to contribute to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, like reforestation or renewable energy initiatives. Your contribution not only helps mitigate the environmental impact of your journey but also supports local communities by creating sustainable jobs and income sources. Pretty cool!

Click to find out more about travelling to The Maldives for the adventure of a lifetime with The Bucket List Company!


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  1. Experience local culture on an island stay

While overwater bungalows are the epitome of “luxury” in the Maldives, consider spending at least part of your trip staying on a local island  to experience the authentic Maldivian culture and support the local economy. 

Local guesthouses and homestays provide a unique opportunity to connect with locals, taste traditional cuisine, and participate in cultural activities. One fantastic island to explore is Fulhadhoo, where the Women’s Development Committee is making a significant impact (more on that in a mo!).

  1. Take your responsibility seriously to protect local ecosystems

As a responsible traveller, it’s essential to take steps to protect the local ecosystems in the Maldives. Here are some ways you can do your part:

  • Forget single-use plastics: plastic pollution is a global problem, and it affects even remote islands like the Maldives. Carry a reusable water bottle, say no to plastic straws, and properly dispose of your trash in designated bins.
  • Conserve water and energy: be mindful of water and energy usage. Many islands rely on desalination for freshwater, so use it sparingly. Turn off lights, air conditioning, and other electronic devices when not in use.
  • Respect wildlife: admire wildlife from a distance and don’t feed anything. 
  • Get involved in beach clean-ups! Some local communities organise beach clean-ups so if you have the opportunity, join in! It’s a great way to give back while enjoying the beautiful coastline at the same time.
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  1. Visit the Women’s Development Committee on Fulhadhoo Island

This one has to get a mention because we always include it in our amazing “Real Maldives” itineraries. 

…Because Fulhadhoo Island really is a shining example of community-driven ecotourism. The Women’s Development Committee (made up of, you guessed it, local women) plays a pivotal role in promoting sustainable tourism and women’s empowerment on the island. They organise activities like traditional cooking classes, guided island tours, and handicraft workshops for visitors.

By participating in these activities, you not only support local women economically but also gain a deeper understanding of the Maldivian way of life. Engaging with the Women’s Development Committee is definitely a win-win for both travellers and the local community.

Now you know how, when are you doing it?!

In the Maldives, ecotourism isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a way of life. Try our five ideas and you can enjoy an unforgettable adventure while leaving a positive impact on this tropical paradise.

And now you know how, it’s probably time we told you a little bit about visiting the REAL Maldives with The Bucket List Company. 

On your 10-day adventure, you’ll take an extraordinary journey beyond the pristine resorts and into the heart of authentic island life, immersing yourself in the captivating experiences that only the Maldives can provide; spotting Manta Rays, exploring local islands and staying in traditional villages, and savouring the rich culinary heritage all the while. 

Then you’ll dip beneath the surface and see the world as you’ve never seen it before, diving into an underwater wonderland where vibrant coral reefs teem with an astonishing kaleidoscope of marine life. Kayaking through mysterious mangroves is on the agenda too, plus cooking lessons, sunset swims and even a visit to a sustainable coral nursery! 

And with monthly payment instalments available, you can invest in your happiness in manageable chunks, with everything organised for you from top to bottom. Hit the button below to find out more about the itinerary – and if you’ve got any questions, just give us a buzz!

Click HERE to find out more about The Real Maldives Adventure with The Bucket List Company

If you don’t do it now… Will you ever?


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