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Navigating the future of sustainable travel with Sonu Shivdasani

Sunset Dolphin Cruise on the Axopar
Apr 18, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

Soneva’s Sonu Shivdasani OBE shares how he fulfils his role as “Guardian of the Culture” via his sustainable resorts brand that answers the demands of conscious travellers.

WGSN and Soneva recently published The Future Traveller, which focuses on the traveller of tomorrow. Our white paper profiles five personas and their evolving priorities, and explores how brands can respond.

WGSN’s CEO Carla Buzasi invites Sonu Shivdasani OBE, CEO and joint creative director of Soneva, to our podcast to share how his company is driving change in the tourism industry. Highlights include introducing a mandatory carbon levy, restoring and regenerating coral reefs, and inspiring and educating on sustainability.

Photo of Sonu Shivdasani OBE
Sonu Shivdasani OBE

Leading as “Guardian of the Culture”

“We had a long future ahead of us and wanted to ensure that whatever we did, was going to continue to prosper well beyond us. We’ve always considered ourselves to be guardians of these places that we feel privileged to take care of during our lifetime, and our whole attitude and approach is to leave these places better than when we arrived.”

Soneva Javi - Soneva Soul
Soneva Javi - Soneva Soul/Soneva

Restoring and regenerating coral reefs

“We’ve launched the largest coral propagation project in the Maldives, and one of the 10 largest in the world. We’ve introduced a spawning lab where we will accelerate the spawning of coral and the idea is that in five or 10 years, rather than the state of our reefs declining, they’ll be better than they were 10 years ago. So that’s another example of regeneration.”

Coral propagation

Inspiring and educating on sustainability

“Our whole purpose has been slow life, which in its essence is offering guests luxuries while minimising our impact on the planet and enhancing their health. So that’s our objective but slow life is also an acronym for ‘sustainable, local, organic wellness, learning, inspiring fun experiences’.”
– Sonu Shivdasani OBE, CEO & joint creative director of Soneva

Soneva Kiri - South Beach
Soneva Kiri - South Beach/Soneva

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Lives of Tomorrow podcast episode, Navigating the Future of Sustainable Travel With Sonu Shivdasani.

Download the WGSN x Soneva joint white paper, The Future Traveller, to discover our five traveller personas.

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