Despite its popular attractions, the Maldives is mostly off-limits to travelers with disabilities. But that’s about to change, thanks to Victoria Kruse, who’s leading a groundbreaking accessibility initiative at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences.
Hospitality veteran Victoria Kruse will never forget the moment a special guest was able to experience an environment that he didn’t think was possible.
“We worked at one resort where a guest came in who was a paraplegic and my husband was very instrumental in helping him not to struggle,” said Kruse, a native of New Zealand. “The fact that this guest, who was an ex-dive instructor, was able to adventure outdoors again, to have this sense of wonder, was really just so inspiring to see.”
That guest remains the most memorable during her two decade career, and it served as an inspiration for a full-fledged commitment to accessibility at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences, where she works as the sustainability and wellness director with her husband, general manager Jason Kruse.
The resort has teamed up with UK-based Inclucare, a team of travel, technology and education experts that specialize in luxury hospitality training for guests with disabilities. The partnership launched kicked off last fall and its certification was officially announced on July 26, Maldivian Independence Day.
The significance of that date was not lost on Kruse, who says nurturing has always been a part of her identity. In addition to revamping Amilla’s culinary program to serve guests with dietary restrictions such as those with gluten free diets, she’s volunteered to run a music festival that serves a fundraiser for schoolchildren.
“Giving travelers with disabilities additional freedom to experience paradise in the sand was a moment that was not only proud, but also inspiring for (me) and the staff,” she said. “We’re the first resort to do it, and everybody knows somebody who has struggled with a disability.”
This is an excerpt from an article by Carley Thornell originally published by Skift.