As 2020 marks the year that Gen Z (those born between 1996-2010) are set to become the largest group of consumers, and youth-travel is becoming one of the fastest growing areas of tourism*, travel companies are increasingly expanding their offering to cater to this younger, savvier, more eco-conscious generation. A new resort going above and beyond for young travellers is Emerald Maldives Resort & SPA – with a luxury yet affordable, sustainable offering which focuses on reducing waste and prioritising both comfort and environmental conservation.
According to Skift research*, Gen Z seek holidays that prioritise conservation, sustainability and outdoor activities. From its conception, Emerald Maldives has been built with these core pillars in mind. All 120 villas are built using all-natural materials such as long-lasting alang alang leaves, bamboo, natural wood and stone in each of the elegant, tropical-inspired villas.
Summarised by Edward Poole, Architect: Poole Associates Private Limited, “travellers have psychological expectations of the Maldives and what their resort should look like; thatched roofs for example. We’ve balanced this with how to build sustainably but still deliver the look and feel the client wants to achieve. Using alang alang and bamboo, we have reduced the use of timber by 95% and created gorgeous villas and surroundings but with our own unique expression.”
Other eco-initiatives include solar power energy, used to heat water for the entire island, a composting system to recycle all food waste, and a recyclable drinking water irrigation system. As it should be, Gen Z travellers can sip on cool drinks through paper straws and glass bottles as the resort makes a conscious effort to ban single-use plastics on the private island.
With an exclusively deluxe all-inclusive basis for all guests, Emerald Maldives is home to four themed restaurants that young travellers and their families can dine in as many times as they wish during their stay, (including the latest South American restaurant in the Maldives, Amazònico). Offering a farm-to-table concept, herbs, spices and salads served are grown onsite in the resort’s
own vegetable garden, so eco-conscious, Gen Z travellers can rest assured that the ingredients are not only delicious but also fresh and locally grown.
Chef Aldo Cadu, Head Chef at Emerald Maldives comments “I love getting creative in the kitchen and working with fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices everyday throughout each of the themed restaurants on the island, and live cooking shows with guests is also a big highlight for me. I love showcasing the many delectable dishes from different continents and it’s even more rewarding to grow ingredients on our own island.”
Gen Z travellers are championing the benefits of spending time outdoors in nature, and at Emerald Maldives, guests can cycle sandy walkways with electronic bikes, or try diving amongst 1000 species of tropical fish and colourful coral in the Indian Ocean in the five-star PADI-certified Diving Centre. Set on the Raa Atoll, Northern Maldives, Emerald Maldives is located on a natural lagoon – one of the largest in the Maldives – with a rare wrap-around reef in walking distance of the white sand beach and home to an abundance of marine life. Here, young explorers will have the chance to encounter treasures of the underwater world such as majestic manta rays, turtles and even whale sharks, in a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get close to the marine life they seek to preserve.
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