Travel with purpose is increasingly becoming a trend among discerning travelers.
They seek for a much deeper meaningful experience and hope to make some kind of contribution to the place they visit, the community and the environment.
Driven by this sense of responsibility, they hope, through the act of giving back, make this world a much better place to live in.
Dreamer’s Island Resort in Pulau Sepanggar is perhaps the place to go for these kind souls. Situated just 20 minutes by boat from Kota Kinabalu city, it offers a perfect refreshing getaway for individuals, groups and families to escape the hectic day-to-day routine.
Though the trip to the island is too short a distance to term it a travel as commonly understood, the experience is pretty much the same as the place gives a so-near-yet-so-far feel to its guests. “It’s so near to the city yet it feels like I’m totally in a different faraway place,” a first-time visitor was heard saying. Indeed, Dreamer’s Island Resort is where convenience meets adventure.
For individuals who want more than just sun and fun – those who embrace mother nature and are constantly seeking to find ways to give back to her – the resort should be on top of their list. It claims to be the only resort property that offers visitors to participate in its coral reef rehabilitation and restoration project.
Working with Monica Chin, who is the ambassador of Ocean Quest Global and also an Asia Times Pulse weekly columnist, Dreamer’s Island Resort prioritizes conservation, protection and environmental conservation in its eco-tourism business.
Ocean Quest Global, which is founded in Malaysia, is an environmental organization that works in seven countries through Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.
Following years of research, it has created its own techniques, methodology and material for coral reef rehabilitation, which are based on the idea that coral can be restored on a large scale, in an all-natural and non-invasive way.
It runs programmes and courses dedicated to securing a sustainable future for coral reefs while at the same time focuses on giving back to local communities and protecting the marine environment.
Many hotels and resorts around the world, from budget to luxurious, have embraced the environmental sustainability agenda in their business. For Dreamer’s Island Resort, it is more than business. The owners believe that all living things in its surrounding areas have the right to exist and no business operations should pose a threat to their existence. It celebrates the human-nature relationship with leisure wedged in the middle. And the owners themselves are hands-on in ensuring that nature thrive in and around the property.
The coral propagation programme at the resort is fascinating and spiritually rewarding. Individuals who take it up get to do the work as coral gardeners. And it is a certified training, meaning with the basic qualification they can volunteer to do the same work in many countries such as France, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. What a way to meaningfully serve the planet. Though ‘Diving with Purpose’ is the slogan of Ocean Quest Global, non-divers can still serve as coral gardeners.
The United Nations reported in 2017, that 70 per cent of the earth’s coral reefs were threatened: 20 per cent had already been destroyed with no hope for recovery, 24 per cent were under imminent risk of collapse and an additional 26 per cent were at risk due to long term threats. This was five years ago and with human activities especially the illegal fish bombings being rampant in the state, the situation might be a lot worse now unless people change their ways in interacting with nature.
What the resort has been doing is to play its small part in reversing the destructive process while at the same time offering the public a place that they can rejuvenate. And it is a well-known secret that mother nature knows best to heal and to make anyone whole again.