The National Marine Aquarium selected Shandrani Resort & Spa in Mauritius to help it develop an international education programme and award scheme, which it hopes will help resorts around the world better protect the marine environments their guests enjoy whilst on holiday.
The team from the Plymouth-based National Marine Aquarium has developed a programme of accredited training courses and awards, which are designed to help hoteliers engage with – and protect – marine conservation sites. The programme will enable staff working at hotels across the world to learn about protecting endangered coral reefs, and help to educate fellow staff, and visitors about how best to help conserve coral, and at the same time protecting their own offerings as a resort.
As a charity dedicated to conservation, education and research, the National Marine Aquarium welcomed the opportunity to engage people with the marine environment through a different avenue. Working with Shandrani – a perfect choice with its location overlooking Blue Bay Marine Park – the Aquarium has now developed the Conservation Through Tourism Award, offering hotels and resorts to work towards a more sustainable future.
The award has three levels; bronze, silver and gold. The bronze award is an initial course designed to raise awareness of corals, the importance of the ecosystem, and to develop the tools to allow them to effectively communicate with visitors in an engaging and interesting way. The six-day course, which is delivered by members of the National Marine Aquarium team to staff at the resort, includes practical hands-on teaching and mentoring, and is designed to create conservation ambassadors from the staff.
The silver and gold awards will offer the opportunity to further develop the training programme, including minimising the resort’s impact on the marine environment, increasing engagement with visitors and becoming involved with reef monitoring, with the ultimate aim of staff and visitors making active improvements to their local lagoons and reef ecosystems. Read the rest of this entry »