Minister of Tourism, Honorable Ibrahim Faisal Officially Inaugurates Sustainable Tourism Forum 2023

PUBLISHED December 12, 2023 | updated December 12, 2023 04:01

At the Manhattan Business Hotel in Male’, IMTM Pvt. Ltd. commenced the fourth edition of the Sustainable Tourism Forum (STF) 2023, bringing together stakeholders from various sectors of the tourism industry to engage in a dynamic dialogue addressing the complex challenges of social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the Maldives.

The Opening Ceremony welcomed esteemed guests, including government officials, official partners of STF 2023, NGOs, associations, resorts, guesthouses, travel agencies, dive centers, students, and attendees. Among the notable figures present were Mr. Ibrahim Faisal, the Honorable Minister of Tourism, as the Guest of Honor, and Mr. Enrico Gaveglia, the UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives, who delivered an insightful keynote address.

Under the theme 'Green Investments and Innovation for Responsible Tourism: Paving the Path for a Greener Future,' STF 2023 explores targeted investments in upskilling, renewable energy, and climate adaptation to contribute to global sustainability.

Ms. Aishath Fara, the Events Manager, initiated the forum by celebrating the milestone achievement of submitting the policy brief from 2022 to relevant authorities, emphasizing IMTM’s dedication to advocating for sustainable tourism practices. Stressing the essence of Sustainable Tourism Forum 2023, Ms. Fara expressed, "Our primary objective for Sustainable Tourism Forum 2023 is to pinpoint strategies to refine the tourism sector and establish customized sustainability benchmarks tailored specifically for the Maldives' tourism industry."

Highlighting the importance of 'Green Investments' such as sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, and innovative practices, Ms. Fara articulated, "These investments align with the fundamental principles of responsible tourism, aiming to minimize environmental impact, support local economies, and preserve cultural authenticity, thereby anchoring a sustainable and conscientious tourism industry crucial for its continuous advancement."

During the ceremony, Mr. Enrico Gaveglia commended the Ministry's initiatives in promoting sustainable practices. The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Mr. Faisal Ibrahim, inaugurated STF 2023, recognizing the role of tourism in global economic growth and the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Mr. Ali Shinan, Deputy Director General of Ministry Tourism, provided an overview of the 5th Tourism Masterplan, stating, “This Masterplan is centered around sustainability and focuses on establishing true sustainability within the industry in a hoslistic manner. We believe that true sustainability can only be achieved when the 4 key pillers are aligned, which are the Visitors, Businesses, Workers, and Communities.”

He continued, “The vision for the 5th Tourism Masterplan is to lead the Maldives in the World in sustainable tourism. Our main goal is to provide the world’s best tourism services and memorable experiences to visitors while ensuring that the industry can make sustainable and lasting contributions.”

Lastly, He emphasized, “it is imperative that we, in the Maldives, with our fragile eco–systems, continue to further uphold and enhance our sustainable practices in line with guidling documents such as the 5th Tourism Masterplan, so that we may maintain our success as the World’s Leading Destination.”

Focused on fostering inclusive discussion, STF 2023 aims to establish clear standards for sustainable tourism establishments. The outcomes and recommendations will be consolidated into a policy paper set for release early next year. This initiative seeks to offer comprehensive industry insights, facilitating potential government policy changes and the introduction of a Sustainable Tourism Policy.

The 2–day forum is scheduled for December 11th and 12th, 2023, at the Manhattan Business Hotel. IMTM extends sincere gratitude to participants and partners for their invaluable support and eagerly anticipates continued engagement from advocates of sustainable initiatives.

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