Community Outreach
 
Community Outreach
07 DECEMBER 2018 7:35 AM

By nature, hotels and the people who work there are very much rooted in their communities, and giving back to the places and people around the hotel is a big part of corporate and property social responsibility.

From the heart
“The best way in which we can contribute and create social value in the places where we develop our activities is through our own business: hospitality. Thus our ‘Hotels with a Heart’ program, which reached its 15th anniversary in 2017, aims to help the families of hospitalized children cover their accommodation needs. More than 2,000 employee volunteers act as ambassadors. Apart from (receiving) accommodations, these families receive love and support from all our enthusiastic professionals, who, together, go further and strive to make hotels their second home.”
—Fernando Córdova
Chief People Officer, NH Hotels

Make sense of your choices
“We encourage our associates to form local ties and offer support where they feel our contributions can make the biggest difference. In addition, Marriott in Europe has developed one strategic partnership that addresses a critical societal issue, resonates with our associates and ties in with our business. This is a long-term approach whereby our European hotels engage with youth charities to provide employability skills training to disadvantaged young people. … This focus on youth engagement provides volunteering opportunities for our associates and support for young people via the career development opportunities and jobs we were able to offer.”
—Hemma Varma
Senior Manager, Social Impact and Global Responsibility, Europe, Marriott International

Prioritize mental health
“In a first for the Scottish hotel industry, we partnered with MHScot Workplace Wellbeing CIC to deliver mental-health first-aid courses for members of the public, providing training facilities at Apex Grassmarket and putting members of staff through the courses, too. More recently, we committed to taking positive action to improve the attitude toward mental health issues by joining the ‘See Me’ program committed to ending workplace discrimination and the stigma around mental health.”
—Angela Vickers
CEO, Apex Hotels

Think local
“We pride ourselves on hiring from within the Belizean community. … Local employees from each resort choose a new organization each month, ensuring the entire community feels the impact. Every reservation, 365 days a year, includes a donation on behalf of the guest party, (which) is invited to match the donation. We are members of ‘Pack for a Purpose,’ (in which guests save) space in (their) suitcase to bring supplies for a local school. The health, happiness and wellbeing of our employees and local community is of utmost importance … the ultimate best practice for any hospitality company.”
—Cortney Lebens
CEO, Muy’Ono Hospitality

Partner to fight poverty
“The International Tourism Partnership works with the world’s leading hotel companies to help make the sector a force for good for both people and planet. Our flagship program—Youth Career Initiative—partners hotels with local nonprofits in 22 countries, supporting them to offer hospitality skills and training to disadvantaged young people. Youth unemployment affects more than 621 million people aged 15 to 24 worldwide. With low barriers to entry, hotels can help lift many of the most vulnerable people out of poverty.”
—Nicolas Perin
Program Manager, International Tourism Partnership

Set goals
“Set measurable targets in key areas … (such as) energy saving, accreditation, waste minimization and charity fundraising and activity. Build the targets into management and team annual goals and bonus schemes. Engaging your team is crucial if CSR is to be meaningful within your business. Seek out those employees who are passionate about CSR and set up ‘green teams’ to meet up and support your overall CSR strategy and initiatives. Community and charity involvement specifically selected by your local teams will always be the most successful.”
—Michael Purtill
Chairman, Inspiring Hospitality Management
Founder, QHotels

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