As long-standing partners immersing travelers under the colorful depths of the Caribbean Sea with a sustainable-first approach, today – together with PADI – Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts celebrate their newly obtained Green Fins membership. This coveted milestone marks the first resort company to adopt this conservation management approach across the entirety of its growing portfolio – which spans 20 resorts across eight Caribbean islands and counting. Implemented internationally by The Reef-World Foundation and the UN Environment Programme, the Green Fins program is designed to protect coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines while promoting sustainable scuba diving and snorkeling.
“Here in the Caribbean, the ocean is a part of our everyday lives, and the health of our underwater ecosystems plays a role in the livelihoods of our friends, families, and neighbors,” said Michael Clarke, Corporate Director of Watersports for Sandals Resorts International. “As new members of Green Fins across our entire resort portfolio, Sandals and Beaches are upholding their vows to protect and restore our natural resources so guests visiting from every corner of the earth can experience the crown of the Caribbean while generations to come continue to prosper from its resources.”
Through the creation and logging of action plans curated by Green Fins, all levels of staff at Sandals’ and Beaches’ on-resort, PADI-certified dive shops will engage in solutions aimed at reducing environmental impact. Participation in Green Fins will expand on the resorts’ existing conservation practices, which include rotating dive site visits to manage human interaction with wildlife, invasive species management, encouraging the use of reef-safe sunscreen, and providing snorkelers and scuba divers with briefings on eco-friendly behaviors before they jump into the diverse waters of the Caribbean. Combined, these efforts drive down operational footprints on the natural world, both above and below the surface.
“As PADI Mission Hubs, Sandals and Beaches are incredibly important strategic partners for PADI. Their scale and shared commitment to a healthier future helps advance our mission to create more ocean ambassadors who can go out and not only explore but also protect the ocean,” said Katie Thompson, PADI Global Director, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability. “We proudly continue forward on this important journey with Sandals and Beaches and celebrate them as the first PADI resort company that can boast 100% Green Fins status.”
Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts are also actively engaged in PADI AWARE Foundation’s Adopt the Blue Program - through which dive centers adopt a dive site from PADI’s global inventory, taking responsibility for its cleanliness via ocean clean-ups, reporting changes in its ecosystem, and presenting a willingness to take conservation action as recommended by specialists.
The Caribbean’s Most Comprehensive Dive Program: Sharing the Skill and Forging Forward
A 2022 Reef-World survey of sustainability in the marine tourism industry found that over 80% of divers are seeking sustainable operators that prioritize marine life conservation when booking a trip, emphasizing not only the importance of but also the strong demand for sustainable and regenerative tourism. Dive-certified guests and snorkelers can explore the Caribbean’s colorful coral reefs as part of the all-inclusive experience across all Sandals’ and Beaches’ PADI-certified dive centers. For new divers, certifications can be administered on-resort, with over 140,000 PADI certifications fulfilled to date - the largest number of certifications completed by any PADI partner. These certifications have played an integral role in building the PADI Ocean Torchbearer army, a movement of united ocean conservationists, along with sustainable on-resort hands-on experiences in the form of courses and dives, including PADI coral restoration and PADI invasive lionfish management.
Paying it Forward with ‘The Gift of Blue’
Ever-creating opportunities for Caribbean travelers to be a part of the ocean conservation movement, this year, Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts are dedicating its holiday sale to the oceans it calls home – turning Black Friday “blue” with the ‘Gift of Blue’ sale. In addition to an air credit valued at up to $750 and a resort credit of up to $250, Sandals and Beaches will donate $50 to the Sandals Foundation’s ocean conservation efforts – more specifically, the expansion of coral nurseries throughout the Caribbean, which houses 10% of the world’s underwater ecosystems – for every booking made between Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday.
To book your next vacation and donate to the Sandals Foundation’s ocean conservation efforts through the “Gift of Blue” sale, please visit: www.sandals.com/gift-of-blue-sale and www.beaches.com/gift-of-blue-sale.