As a trailblazer in sustainable tourism focusing on the purpose-driven mission of stewardship and wellbeing, and a founding signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in Singapore, the Banyan Tree Group inspires by example through an array of impactful and proactive initiatives to promote and support wellness and sustainability while offering exceptional design-led guest experiences to “embrace the environment and empower people”.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Dhawa Ihuru and Angsana Velavaru, the three EarthCheck Gold certified properties under the umbrella of the Banyan Tree Group in the Maldives celebrated three important observances in June, namely World Environment Day, World Oceans Day and Global Wellness Day, with simultaneous programme line-up as a testament of their commitment to environmental protection and community development.
#BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day, marked on 5 June is “#BeatPlasticPollution”. Today, the world is being inundated by plastics, and this campaign shines a spotlight on living without throwaway plastic goods – conveying a message to everyone that it is time to put a stop to plastic pollution.
In the Maldives, tons of plastic end up in the ocean, threatening marine life, and ruining its famous pristine beaches. With this, the Maldives government has banned the production of single-use plastics nationwide effective 1 June last year.
To help in preserving the beauty of this island nation, the three properties carried out local island clean-up, in a bid to raise public awareness about environmental conservation. The associates of Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Dhawa Ihuru visited Himmafushi Island in North Malé Atoll. Together with the local community members, the team collected 156 kilograms of rubbish – mostly plastics. Meanwhile, Angsana Velavaru’s associates went to Rinbudhoo, also known as the “jewellers island” in South Nilandhe Atoll, and hand in hand with its residents, they collected almost 371 kilograms of rubbish, composed mainly of plastics.
In 2022, the Banyan Tree Group composed of 63 hotels and resorts in 23 countries successfully reduced the utilisation of single-use plastic by 32% versus 2017 baseline, after pledging to go plastic-free on Earth Day in 2018.
Reef Relief on World Oceans Day
Since 1996, conservation efforts have started at Dhawa Ihuru, formerly known as Angsana Ihuru. Home to the signature dive spot, Rannamaari Wreck, which lies 26-metre deep a few metres off the house reef endowed with abundant marine life, it is dubbed as one of the best house reefs in the Maldives.
In 2004, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru’s Marine Lab officially opened, the first resort-based facility in the Maldives to provide basic facilities and equipment for field work, and to share the importance of marine conservation and sustainable livelihoods with local communities. Shortly afterwards, in 2007, Angsana Velavaru opened the second one with the same objective.
At the Marine Conservation Lab, dedicated conservation efforts to create awareness and protect the endangered marine species are in place, such as coral planting, a process that facilitates reef recovery, providing an opportunity for naturally broken coral pieces to grow in colony and creating a coral nursery. Coral reefs host around 25% of all species within the marine environment, and the restoration efforts done by the three properties aid in the conservation and propagation of the marine ecosystem.
Commemorated on 8 June, this year’s World Oceans Day theme is “Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing”, which “aims to raise awareness about the result of human activities on the oceans and to motivate people to use the ocean’s resources sustainably”.
Showing support to this cause, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Dhawa Ihuru and Angsana Velavaru conducted marine talks, coral planting and reef clean-up, engaging both associates and guests.
‘Self-Others-Nature” Approach to Wellness
While every guest’s journey to wellbeing varies, the Banyan Tree Group offers a series of learning and practices, as well as the magical touch of traditional Asian healing philosophies. Each journey is designed according to the Banyan Tree Group’s 8 pillars of wellbeing, wherein the holistic approach is focused on the significance of restoring, as well as maintaining the delicate and the right kind of balance between nature and humanity.
The award-winning Banyan Tree and Angsana Spas, alongside the new 8lements Spa deliver authentic treatments and impactful therapies, coupled with the best practices and impeccable service designed to cultivate care for one’s self, others and nature.
In celebration of Global Wellness Day on 10 June, Angsana Velavaru hosted a Sunrise Power Walk for its associates and guests. To encourage guests to relax amidst the swaying palm trees and indulge in a well-deserved tune up, Angsana Spa’s Essence of Angsana is available with good value savings for the whole month.
Meanwhile, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru conducted a Sunset Healthy Breathing Exercise for the guests. For those who would like to feel good and look good even better, Facial Retreat and Spa Series with special offers are available at the Banyan Tree Spa during the entire month.
Finally, Dhawa Ihuru held Morning Healthy Breathing Exercise for the guests. Similarly, 8lements Spa offers special Facial Retreat and Spa Series to those who would like to embark on a rejuvenating journey until the end of June. Furthermore, this recently rebranded island retreat invites travellers to live the beachfront life in relaxed and private comforts. Take advantage of the Summer to Remember package that includes daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, 20% savings on Destination Dining, complimentary return speedboat transfers, and complimentary select resort activities. To book the Summer to Remember, visit www.dhawa.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.