A study conducted by Sun Siyam Resorts revealed that household holiday expenditure is on the rise, despite the current economic uncertainty that have plagued the UK throughout 2023.
The survey into the travel plans and preferences of over 2,000 holidaymakers showed that 80% of Brits are planning to spend more on holidays than in previous years, with 1 in 4 respondents saying they would increase their travel budget from previous years to allow them to travel to a new destination (25%) or spend more time away (24%).
Indicating an ongoing shift in holiday habits, the survey also found that – of those planning to travel abroad this year – nearly half (48%) will reduce the number of short-haul trips to allow them to focus their funds into one longer luxurious holiday.
The ongoing trend towards more mindful travel choices was also reflected in the research, with 90% of respondents expressing the importance of luxury travel brands paying attention to sustainability and responsible practices. It was also clear from the data that guests are increasingly interested in the opportunity to give back to local communities, with beach and community clean-ups (42%), wildlife conservation (41%), tree planting (31%) plus coral planting and regrowth schemes (28%) topping the list of ways travellers would be interested in making a difference.
Speaking of the survey’s findings, Sun Siyam Resorts’ CEO, Deepak Booneady, said: “With the UK continuing to be the number one market for Sun Siyam Resorts, we were keen to understand how attitudes to travel are changing after the uncertainty of the last few years. These findings will help us ensure our private-island properties continue to meet the evolving needs of modern-day travellers.
“We have long understood how embracing responsible tourism practices across our resorts and encouraging guests to be involved in sustainable activities – from beach clean-ups to community visits – can enhance their overall holiday experience. More emphasis is being placed on this through our program Sun Siyam Cares which prioritises sustainability through initiatives such as reducing energy and water use, supporting community development and investing in renewable energy.
It’s really positive to see the survey reflect a wider desire from UK travellers to make a difference through more sustainable travel choices, and we look forward to helping more holidaymakers make lifelong memories whilst giving back to local communities on their next well-deserved break.”
Sun Siyam Cares
2023 has seen Sun Siyam Resorts program of sustainable activities ramp up. The group understand that sustainable practices should aim to minimise our environmental impact and carbon footprint whilst contributing positively to the socio-economic wellbeing of the communities in which we operate.
Their longstanding sustainability programme aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to prioritise responsible practices through a wide range of meaningful conservation, community and people-focused initiatives. Across the Sun Siyam Resorts, these activities range from reducing energy and water use to managing waste to reduce plastic use, while supporting community development and investing in renewable energy.
The group’s activities also focus on conservation and the preservation of local heritage and cultural practices, ensuring guests benefit from environmentally-friendly experiences and meaningful encounters in nature and with our local communities. As part of the Sun Siyam Care programme, four out of five of their Maldives resorts are Travelife Gold-certified with the independent global accommodation sustainability body to give travellers peace of mind. Siyam World, which opened October 2021, will be certified by the end of 2023. Travelife’s comprehensive requirements across over 160 sustainability criteria – from animal welfare to fair labour practices – are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Top-line figures of Sun Siyam Resorts initial impact:
- 200,000 plastic bottles eliminated through in-house water bottling project
- 25,000 tCO2 reduction through carbon footprint as resorts use fruit and vegetable produce from local farm islands
- 10,000 L of water reduced through water and laundry reduction program
- Around 5,000 L of diesel/energy reduction through LED lights
- Over 1,500 trees planted annually for preservation of biodiversity
- Over 150 coral planting projects
- Over 5,000kg food waste reduced annually
- Over 10,000 room nights have contributed to Sun Siyam Care Fund projects since June 2023
- All resorts recruiting for marine biologist; Sun Siyam Iru Fushi are the latest resort to benefit from this level of expertise to educate team and guests as well as begin implementation of specific marine projects
Celebrity chefs serve up culinary extravaganza across Sun Siyam Resorts
Michelin star chef Tom Brown continued the chef residency program at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi and Siyam World in October 2023. The Michelin starred chef of Hackney’s Cornerstone curated a series of exclusive events displaying his culinary prowess with a series of dining experiences and cooking classes, providing guests at both resorts with an unforgettable gastronomic journey.
Other chefs to visit Sun Siyam Resorts have included:
– Manuele Baiocchini, Italian Sky Sports TV journalist whose chef residency took him to Sun Siyam Iru Veli where he impressed with a series of show-cooking events;
– MasterChef India Season 4 Winner – Nikita Gandhi. A lacto ovo vegetarian expert, Gandhi served up a range of vegetarian and vegan dishes, including workshops and food pairings, to give guests the opportunity to learn the art of mastering vegetarian-Indian cooking at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi;
– Holiday-makers were treated to an extraordinary culinary journey and had the opportunity to indulge in the Middle Eastern and Israeli flavours curated by the iconic Chef Einat in the stunning backdrop of Sun Siyam Olhuveli and Sun Siyam Vilu Reef. From exclusive dining experiences, a four course menu, stimulating cooking classes to a seminar for the resort’s team of chefs, her residency culminated in a silver jubilee menu for guests at Vilu Reef. Chef Einat Admony is the three-time James Beard-nominated chef and owner of the celebrated Balaboosta restaurant,
Sun Siyam Vilu Reef celebrates Silver Jubilee
The grande dame of Sun Siyam Resorts celebrated 25 years in October 2023. Opening in 1998, Sun Siyam Vilu Reef was the first of Sun Siyam Resorts private islands, now numbering five spread across three atolls in the Maldives. The boutique resort boasts a high rate of visitation with one guest visiting 41 times and some team members having worked at the resort since its opening.
With Sun Siyam Cares at its core, the group’s program imbedded through all resorts designed to bring sustainability to the forefront of all initiatives, Vilu Reef recognized local elders on World Elderly Day, the teaching community on World Teachers Day and organised sessions with local communities to raise awareness of issues surrounding Mental Health Day.
Introducing the world’s first underwater jetpack at Siyam World
As part of Siyam World’s commitment to revolutionising the way people experience the Indian Ocean, guests at the five-star island resort are now able to unleash their inner dolphins, thanks to a pioneering new partnership with the creators of the world’s first underwater jet pack, Cudajet.
Siyam World continues to wave its magic for thrill-seeking guests, with the jetpack introducing a brand new travel dimension for adventurous Siyam World guests. The new addition joins a fleet of other unparalleled boredom-busting firsts, including the launch of Maldives’ inaugural Seabreacher, the region’s first ever water bikes, the opening of the Maldives’ biggest floating water park and on land, a fleet of mesmerising Mini Mokes.
The exclusive lightweight luxury water sports toy is designed to give anyone keen to take the plunge the feeling of ultimate freedom. Worn as a compact backpack, the jet-propulsion device enables holidaymakers to experience the ultimate feeling of weightless flight as they propel themselves through the area’s aquamarine waters. With its intuitive control systems giving ocean explorers predator-like manoeuvrability as they control the direction of travel, and the jetpack’s agile design empowering users to perform smooth barrel rolls underwater, the harness also provides enough buoyancy to allow divers to rest at the surface throughout the fun.
Siyam World, home to football legends
Taking advantage of Siyam World’s state-of-the-art football facilities, fans of the beautiful game have been revelling in a line-up of world-class stars. April saw the arrival of Marco Materazzi followed by long-term Chelsea defender and club captain Gary Cahill who teamed up with former premiere league superstar Wayne Bridge to lead a four-day football camp during May half-term.
Yoga guru’s at Sun Siyam Olhuveli & Siyam World
Sun Siyam Olhuveli and Siyam World spread positive energy in June to celebrate International Yoga Day with a series of uplifting yoga collaborations. Led by two talented international experts, the well-balanced workshops helped guests connect with their idyllic surroundings while melting away tension.
Sun Siyam Olhuveli, spread across three tropical islands in the South Male Atoll, welcomed Yogi Yeo Dong Gu. As a celebrated Korean yoga instructor, Ululu Yoga Master, Universal Yoga teacher, host of the famed Korea Yoga Festa and author of multiple yoga books, the guru’s classes inspired a new sense of tranquillity amongst participating guests.
A small hop across the Indian Ocean at Siyam World, Russian-born Anna Sologub – better known as Aniko – helped guests strike a relaxing pose whilst easing into the Vinyasa flow. As a dynamic member of the international yoga community, Aniko – an established retreat leader, Vinyasa flow instructor and retreat leader – is known for her creative and inspiring approach to embracing the wellness benefits of the ancient practice, and her classes proved to be a revitalising experience.
Meeting & incentive travel grows in 2023
Sun Siyam Resorts has seen continued growth in MICE groups visiting the resorts. One of the incentive groups included a medical incentive for 60 people at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi. This was an incentive group of high achievers who visited the Maldives for a 4-night incentive with their partners from all over the world. The programme included:
– A white-themed-party on the beach, with a live band, DJ and Champagne & Cocktail welcome reception on the first night to welcome everyone during sunset followed by a BBQ
– Deep sea fishing
– Sushi making class
About Sun Siyam Resorts:
- Since opening its first resort in the Maldives (Sun Siyam Vilu Reef) in 1998, the Sun Siyam Resorts portfolio has grown to six luxury private-island properties and welcomed its most recent addition – Siyam World – in October 2021.
- The resort collection encompasses a 4-star (Sun Siyam Olhuveli) and four 5-star (Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Sun Siyam Iru Veli, Sun Siyam Vilu Reef and Siyam World) properties in the Maldives, plus a boutique beach retreat on the east coast of Sri Lanka (Sun Siyam Pasikudah).
- Each resort showcases its idyllic location and character through a bespoke program of island-based and underwater experiences, from rotating international chef residencies to ocean adventures.
- Owned and managed by the Sun Siyam Group – a privately-owned company established in 1990 – the resorts reflect the legendary warmth of Maldivian hospitality and the Group’s visionary owner and MD, Ahmed Siyam Mohamed