Probably, the Robinson Club Maldives will be Destroyed

 

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

The coral reef of the island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll, the Maldives.

Everything is nearly perfect on this tiny tropical island located about 67 km from the equator in the Indian Ocean. It has a beautiful coral reef with a very active underwater life, exotic jungles among beach and garden villas, white sand, blue sky, emerald water, fantastic sunrises and sunsets—everything you imagine when someone says the magical word “Maldives.” However, chances are that excluding sunrises and sunsets, the rest of the local beauty will be destroyed in the near future. Why?

Sea turtle. Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Beach of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Underwater life of the Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Creative German managers of the Robinson Club Maldives try to convert your stay here into eternal celebration. Every day, they change cuisine: French, Asian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Thai… They organize captain’s partying, night gambling, concerts of Maldivian stars, wild tuna fishing, exotic lunch on the uninhabited island a-la Robinson Crusoe, champagne parties in the pool, photo sessions for those just married (dress and suits are available to rent right here), diving, snorkeling…

Captain's party. The Robinson Club Maldives.

Captain’s party

Big, but very kind shark, living near the shore. Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Big, but very kind shark, living near the shore.

Beach of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Beach of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Bravo! But…

Gentlemen, you should answer the one big question: Do you want to have a resort for families (with small children), or for adults (without children)?

Several Chinese families with children stayed on the island simultaneously with us. Poor kids. They did not know what to do during the day. Of course, it is possible to swim in the crystal clear water near a snow white shore, but don’t forget this is almost the equator, and the sun’s rays are vertical for most of the day. Your child (and you) can char in a couple of hours. Knowing this, you take him/her out of the warm, gentle, and unbelievably transparent water, and send the kid to play… where?!

The Robinson Club Maldives has not one child facility. No playgrounds, no aqua parks, no playing machine, no children’s pools… in short, nothing! After finding out this awful fact, you are forced to follow the convenient parental principle: do whatever you want, only don’t cry. And children quickly find things to do—they start to destroy the island.

For many years, a tree grew on the sandy bank of the beautiful tropical island. It loved its island so much that dying, the tree dried up so beautifully that became a local landmark. For many years, people took photos of the mummy of the tree on the background of blue sky and emerald water of the ocean. Just married couples from all over the world posed for photographers near the dried tree to ensure the eternity of their union, because any mummy always is a symbol of eternity.

Today, this picturesque mummy does not exist anymore, because before my eyes, two Chinese boys “found something to do on the island” and broke the symbol of eternity of the Robinson Club Maldives. Look at the “before” and “after” photos.

Beach of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Beach of the Robinson Club Maldives.

I don’t blame the children; they were just playing. But how could their parents, sitting nearby, not understand the meaning and beauty of this creation of nature, and not stop the vandalism?! Moreover, they were from China, the country with more than 3,000 years of history of Feng Shui art and science.

Next day, we saw how the same family destroyed the coral reef with their flippers. They stood on the corals (which is forbidden), they jumped to the sea from the corals (which is forbidden), and they broke and brought the corals to the beach (which is forbidden). Do you think there was only one such family? No.

The Robinson Club Maldives has a coral patrol. At least, that was written on a placard on the beach. However, during a whole week on the island, I have not seen anyone from the hotel staff strolling along the beach and speaking with the elderly Chinese guests who don’t understand why it’s so important to not touch corals.

Dear Adam, Graziano, and Björn, the top managers of the Robinson Club Maldives, your excellent team can dance, entertain, and treat the guests to free champagne forever, but my wife and I feel you are losing the main concept of a holiday on the Maldives—romantic vacation for just married, and loving couples of all ages. The real charm of the Maldives consists of it. On the plane, we saw girls in their white wedding dress. They think the Maldives is a paradise. They fly here to find sunsets and sunrises, luxuriate on the white sand under strangely curved palm trees, sit under tropical stars hand in hand and listen to the sounds of the ocean, but not to listen to the cries of preschool age children.

Sunset. The Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Beach of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Sunset. The Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Sea turtle. Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Here, in the Robinson Club Maldives, the children were from China. I must say, during our staying here, 80% of the guests were from China. Probably, the reason is the direct flight from Chongqing to Kaadedhdhoo. However, the Chinese just married couples are not different from European or American ones. They are equally calm, well mannered, and intelligent. The older Chinese speak, more precisely, shout as if they are alone on the island.

Dear managers, your hotel is not for couples anymore. Example? Count how many tables for two the main restaurant has, and how many for six. Sometimes, your waiters don’t know where to place a couple for dinner when all the tables for two are occupied.

Time to save your wonderful coral reef, but not only by announcements on the boards that you are concerned about the struggle for the preservation of the underwater life of the Maldives. Probably, the instructions of Ashley (the Chinese speaking manager), boards along the beach with a pictograph “Don’t step on corals,” and daily free lessons of snorkeling are not enough for your Chinese guests. The Europeans try to save every coral sprig because they have been brought up in such a relation to wild nature. The Chinese man has no idea that his lifetime is not enough to re-grow the coral sprig he just broke. No wonder the Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) are on the brink of extinction.

One more killed coral. The Robinson Club Maldives.

One more killed coral

 

Things to think about:

•  On the Chinese black market, tiger’s bone is worth its weight in gold, tiger’s skin is a coveted trophy. Earlier, tigers lived in the vast area up to the northeast of China, now they can be found only in nature reserves in Russia. It is believed that from 350 to 450 Amur tigers survive, but Chinese poachers still cross the border of Russia to kill them.

•  Chinese sturgeon is almost extinct. There are no more than 100 of them, while 30 years ago their population was several thousands.

•  We don’t know precisely how many whale sharks are left in the ocean, but scientists speak about 1,000 individuals. However, despite all the restrictions, hunting for whale sharks continues in Southeast Asia and India.

A coral reef is a rare kind of life, and it suffers from both global warming and human activity. But corals are home for many species of fish. Guess what could be the consequences of the destruction of a coral reef?

Underwater life of the Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Underwater life of the Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives. The island of Funamadua, Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Your Chinese guests swim very badly. Almost each swing of their flippers means the death of one of the corals. Few of the Chinese swimmers enter to the reef through the special passages. If you do nothing, your unique coral reef will be trampled down in several years, and I will not be back here, because I don’t want to witness such a disaster.

If the owner of the Robinson Club Maldives will not resolve this problem,
he could lose the main attraction of the island—its breathtaking coral reef.
SOS!

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Coral Reef of the Robinson Club Maldives.

Beach of the Robinson Club Maldives.

More about the Maldives:

Fly to the Maldives Whenever You Can
Two Parts of Paradise and Vilamendhoo Island and Reethi Beach Resort
Manta and Giant Whale Shark Trips from Vilamendhoo

55 Responses to “Probably, the Robinson Club Maldives will be Destroyed”

  1. Indah Susanti Says:

    Thanks for the article. It is really worrying of what you had mentioned. Tourists should have awareness over the nature preservation and I do hope the Maldives Robinson Club shares the same responsibilities!

    Like

  2. Ron Scubadiver Says:

    As a diver, I have seen a lot of sloppy fining destroy coral. The situation with the children is unfortunate. Short of excluding families, perhaps they need a children’s program.

    Like

  3. Tracy Says:

    These pictures are amazing.
    Do you think that some people on vacation tend to view everything around them as disposable and destroyable simply because they are not responsible for it?

    Like

  4. Sue Slaght Says:

    Such gorgeous photos Victor and I am horrified to hear of the coral destruction by guests!

    Like

  5. wolke205 Says:

    My husband want to travel there one day – me too, but I m scared ot the long flight. We should do a sea cruise 😉 Amazing photos!!

    Like

  6. Giovannoni Claudine Says:

    Unfortunately, not only the Chinese… threaten the coral reefs of our planet! Wandering through the heavenly places… I always find some idiot (from many different passports) who did not respect the fauna and flora… and even less of the inhabitants of such lovely island or nations!
    Victor, this is a sad reality: it’s wise your position to make the Robinson’s Club manager aware of… but like this, there are thousands of others places to protect… and too many turn away and pretend nothing! Thank so much for your deep concern… :-)claudine

    Like

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      I agree, Claudine, but in this case, the vandals were from China.
      All I can do with it, is to write. All you can do with it – to share.
      Or maybe ask for a job in the coral patrol of the Robinson Club.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Giovannoni Claudine Says:

        I’m too old for this last idea… although with my seven languages ​​could be a good buy 😉
        Unplesant to say, but neither you or I will be able to change the world… but as you say rightly, is important to share these truths. I write and the publish, all my novels are educational, this is a small contribution to a better world! Have a peaceful day 🙂 claudine

        Like

  7. One man and his Mustang Says:

    Stunning. Incredible pictures that make me want to dive there.

    Like

  8. Tisha Tran Says:

    destroyed?! that’s just horrible 😦 Loving your photos! I just want to be there right now lol

    Like

  9. Robin S. Kent Says:

    Sad, but unfortunately so true and in so many places. Thank you for writing this. You might want to consider posting a link to this article on Trip Advisor since you have actually been there. Since I have not been to the property, I cannot post a review.

    Like

  10. Anil Cm Says:

    I loved your article and beautiful amazing photographs and re-blogged the same in my Blog. I appreciate your concern about the slow destruction of the natural beauty. Authority concern should take action against the ignorant tourists. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  11. Bama Says:

    This is really outrageous! Resort owners should not put money first, but also the sustainability of their resorts. They need to educate tourists on how to deal with the coral reefs as some might go just because they have the money, not because they love nature to begin with. It would be really devastating to know that one day this little paradise might be lost forever.

    Like

  12. Helene Kwong Says:

    An eye-opening article and gorgeous photos. I hope you have sent a link of this post to the management of Robinson’s Club, or write to him directly to ask if he’s doing anything to prevent further destruction of coral and plant life.

    Like

  13. wordsfromanneli Says:

    This is an excellent post, Victor. Not only the photos, which are superb, but the information. What you’ve told us is something that most people don’t think about. For most vacationers, it’s fly in, have a good time, fly out, and don’t worry about the future of the place. But the destruction that is happening here ever so surely is like a speeded up erosion and soon there will be nothing left of the beauty of these islands. You post points out both sides – the beauty and its eventual destruction.

    Like

  14. Anna | slightly astray Says:

    I gotta say… with this article and the one before it… I’m feeling ashamed to be of Chinese nationality! I do admit that I find it the antics Chinese tourists appalling. I think, like you said, it is mostly with the older crowd. This is mostly because schools were not taught manners and etiquette during the chaotic communist takeover times, and traveling out of China is still relatively new. So they behave how they would in their home country. The younger crowd is educated.

    This is a very interesting post, and so sad that the nature is being destroyed in front of your very eyes! The story of the tree is heart wrenching. I hope the managers will take more action to properly educate tourists on how to take care of the local wildlife while there.

    Like

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Anna, you must not be ashamed. You are not guilty. Chinese elderly people had a very hard life. However, young generation of the Chinese is different. They are modern and smart, and handsome, especially girls. 🙂

      Like

  15. Jenny Trozell Says:

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning and it is heartbreaking to read about how the coral is not being threated in the precious way they deserve. Also this post made me reconsider the Maldives as a paradise as I would be one of them who would not appreciate screaming kids in a peaceful environment aimed for tranquility.

    Like

  16. MaldivesDreamer Says:

    I completely agree with you! We visited Robinson Club this summer, and had the exact same experience as you. We saw everything that you mention: the breaking of coral, stepping on it, total disrespect for the fragile environment and for other guests, the lack of tables for two at the restaurant (they asked us to share tables) and very loud neigbours… the list goes on and on. No reef patrol when we were there either. Such a shame! The reef will be destroyed bit by bit if this continues. We will not return, although it is a beautiful island.

    Like

  17. splendid milestones Says:

    The closest example I could relate to this is our rare corals, thresher sharks, turtles in the Philippines, killed and exported to China. Government’s putting iron hand on the ban and nabbing of the heartless businessmen involved with this, they’re slowing down now but not yet totally stopped. On top of that, we always see plastics underwater during snorkeling at popular reefs, left by Chinese groups…or it might be unfair to particularly point finger to just the Chinese, maybe also the locals, but the only locals on tours are the tourists and the workers.

    But the point is, I know what you’re saying Victor, could truly relate though haven’t been to Maldives. And your points are really worrying.

    Thanks for this wake-up call post.

    Like

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Thank you for support, Fritzie.

      Of course, we can’t blame only the Chinese, but in Robinson, I saw that it was their actions. And I stress, I speak about elderly Chinese, not about young.

      We can do only one thing: to share, to share, and to share this information again and again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • splendid milestones Says:

        I know! And Maldives and other spots alike in the world won’t run out with Chinese guests (older group) the whole year round. So yes your post is a call for patrols to start to do their job because those scenes with a man with a coral is more than alarming. The next day others will do same thing til a year after, nothing’s left for us who are still abound to Maldives.

        Great photos you have, Victor! Just worrying that in your next Maldives post, it’ll only be before and after photos…the thought itself is already horrifying.

        Thank you for the bravery of your post!

        Cheers!

        Like

  18. thebritishberliner Says:

    Fantastic photos Victor. Your post brings hope that if we don’t take care of our natural resources, we’ll have none to share with future generations.

    Like

  19. laurapitcher Says:

    Your photos are beautiful, even if the content of your blog is heartbreaking. I just hope it helps bring attention to other people so that this problem can be stopped, and the children will actually have coral reefs to enjoy when they’re older, as well as their childrens children. It is so commendable that you are using your blog to promote good stewardship.

    Like

  20. Garden Walk Garden Talk Says:

    I love your photos and hate to see the coral destroyed. Too bad people cannot see the harm they are doing.

    Like

  21. francaangloitalian Says:

    It’s a real shame to see people being careless of the environment, they should be more responsible and conscious about it. Sharing this is already a big step, people need to know and be educated about it.
    On another note, Victor beautiful photos 🙂

    Like

  22. Freya Says:

    This is a very interesting article. It is so important to preserve this beautiful environment and those stunning coral reefs. Raising awareness to protect and be more responsible is definitely something that needs to happen more.
    On another note, you’re photos are absolutely amazing, wow.

    Like

  23. jim Says:

    I’m from New Zealand, and while I haven’t witnessed the sort of mismanagement by resort owners you mention I have definitely seen some things from Chinese tourists that boggle the mind. I saw one family stuff a dirty diaper into a crack between two rocks and another man hold an empty coke can underwater till it sank…. in a river in Fiordland. I can only assume that the culture they hail from cares so little about these things that they extend it to everywhere else they go.

    Like

  24. Ali Osman CAKAR Says:

    Dear Victor Tribunsky ,

    Greetings from ROBINSON Club, Maldives!

    Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience while staying at ROBINSON Club Maldives. We sincerely value your comments in our continuous effort to provide friendly and efficient service.

    Although we are delighted to learn that you are pleased with our staff and you consider our club that provide relaxation and good holiday. However, it greatly concerns us to learn that we had not lived up to your expectations in some areas. We highly appreciate for having shared with us the few points that is missing to achieve perfection and would make sure to engage it to our advantage.

    Kindly be informed that we keep on reviewing and work harder to enhance guest experience knowing that your concern has been brought to every department involved and ensure immediate action was in placed.

    On behalf of my team, thank you staying with us. We hope we will get the opportunity to give us another try and I guarantee that your next stay would be more enjoyable.

    Warm regards,

    Graziano Vitolo
    General Manager
    ROBINSON Club Maldives

    Like

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Dear Graziano.

      You have one of the best reefs I have ever seen on the Maldives, and I want you preserve it. It is your treasure.

      Being a businessman, I know for sure that only constructive criticism, but not praises, helped me to make my business more comfortable for customers and more profitable for me.

      I hope my criticism also will help you.

      Thank you for the answer, and good luck.

      Like

  25. Mirela Surghie Says:

    Amazing pictures, sad situation with the reef. Tourists from around the world are running things while vacationing, sadly some take all for granted

    Like


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