Once upon a time only very few could travel and enjoy the beauty and wonders of the sea. Today, tourism is a fast
growing industry, and for many countries the main source of income. For barrier reefs however it is the primary cause
of threatening losses, and for indigenous cultures, tourism can be devastating.
This happens more or less everywhere; but not at Wakatobi Dive Resort.
Wakatobi Dive Resort employs many sustainable practices that establish a win-win situation for the reefs, the resort,
and the local community. Some of these practices include reducing plastic packaging by asking suppliers to minimize
plastic use wherever possible and providing used fuel drums (repainted and cut in half) to villages to give a place
to put rubbish, thus reducing the rubbish that ends up in the ocean. While most fruits and vegetables must be brought
from outside the area due to infertility of soils, wherever possible the resort tries to use local traders as much as
possible even if the price is sometimes higher. This year Wakatobi Dive Resort provided funds to the high school in
the village of Lammangau for the completion of a new roof and has sponsored mosque renovations in the village of
Wawotimu. The resort also distributes school supplies donated by guests to the schools in the district, during
this program Wakatobi Dive Resort staff interact with the children and give lectures on and question and answer
sessions to the children about conservation and environmental awareness.
These practices not only help to reduce serious impact to the reef, but also result in economic growth for local
populations, providing protection for fragile ecosystems such as coral reefs, that are continuously blooming.
Doing so, Wakatobi Dive Resort preserves the area's beauty and uniqueness, making it available to future generations.
This is a perfect example of successful eco-luxury marine tourism, where a wise and foresighted vision raises income
in a way that is not just ecologically sustainable, but makes Wakatobi Dive Resort part of the solution and not of
the problem. Because of this Wakatobi Dive Resort has been invited to participate in the up-coming tourism resource
Eco-luxury Marine Retreats of the World.
More photos by Alberto Recchi