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Analysis

The first steps towards more sustainable tourism 3/3

While more and more French people are giving up flying to go on holiday, the challenges of sustainable development are gradually integrating the different aspects of the tourism industry. Part Three: promoting local communities, a reality?

Choice Hotels dedicates a fund to helping local organizations

The British hotel group recently rewarded five franchisees as part of the "Your Community. Your Choice. Choice Hotels Local Business Grant Program". Winners of the grant received US$5,000 each to help its hotel owners further their longstanding commitment to caring for the communities outside their hotels that welcome these hotels.

The properties selected this year were Comfort Inn and Suites - Murrieta (California), Comfort Inn and Suites - Lynchburg (Virginia), Clarion Inn Seekonk - Providence (Massachusetts), Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, an Ascend Hotel Collection member (Missouri) and Comfort Inn Auburn - Seattle (Washington). Each of these institutions will use the grant received for a community project. For example, the Comfort Inn and Suites - Lynchburg will support Providence Veterans Farm, an organization dedicated to supporting war veterans, and Clarion Inn Seekonk - Providence will provide donations of uniforms and equipment to students of the Northern Rhode Island Collaborative, an association that represents students and young adults with disabilities.

Choice Hotels' press release points out that it "has been a champion of local businesses since its founding 80 years ago, when seven independent hotel owners pooled their resources to reach out to each other". The "Your Community. Your Choice. Choice Hotels Local Business Grant Program" is thus very meaningful for the franchiser. "I'm always proud—but never surprised—by the stories I hear of our hotel owners supporting the places where they and their families live, work, and play delighted to continue this legacy by rewarding the truly spectacular efforts of these five hotels to take care of the communities in front of their doorstep," remarks Pat Pacious, President and CEO of Choice Hotels.

But the "Your Community. Your Choice. Choice Hotels Local Business Grant Program" is far from being the group's only action to engage in local development, far from it. Choice Hotels International Foundation has created "Room to Give" which includes its Giving Time and Giving Money programs. through Giving Money it matches dollar-for-dollar, tax-deductible donations made by eligible full-time associates, up to $1,500 per calendar year, to eligible non-profit organizations or educational institutions. Through its Giving Time program the foundation encourages associates to volunteer, and for 100 hours of volunteer service, our Foundation makes a tax deductible (for the employee) financial gift of $500 to the eligible organization in the associate's name.

Community involvement and promotion of culinary heritage at Creta Maris Beach Resort

The resort in Crete, which opened in 1975, has an extensive complex with 680 rooms, suites and bungalows, 6 restaurants, 2 fast food offers, 9 bars, 7 piscines, an outdoor cinema, a fitness center, un spa-hammam, et un club pour enfant.

This property, a member of the Metaxa Hospitality Group, is particularly focused on sustainable development through its participation in the "TUI Care Foundation | Futouris" project. In particular its efforts support local economic development. In addition to using short food circuits to supply its restaurant, it has set up a series of events and activities to promote Crete’s gastronomic culture, traditions and customs, including wine and olive oil produced in Crete. This initiative is part of the "TUI Care Foundation | FUTOURIS Project |Crete, First steps towards a sustainable food destination, 2017-2019" program.

The originality of this project is to involve the local community to help guests discover the wealth of Crete's traditions and culinary delicacies. Wine and olive tasting sessions are thus organized along with explanations about the production of these legendary foodstuffs.

Moreover, the resort organizes an activity focused on local vineyards called "Cretan Vineyard Care", as well as olive harvesting. Soon the the hotel will host Opsigias or the production of raisins using the method known as Xelikisma which is the traditional grape cleaning and raisin finishing method used in Crete.

Accor in Saudi Arabia promotes women in the hotel industry

Accorhotels Saudi Arabia is committed to the empowerment of women by hosting the first ever private sector event in Saudi Arabia dedicated to the empowerment of women to promote to promote Saudi Women Leadership, Empowerment and integration in workplace. The event was held on March 4, 2018 at Sofitel Jeddah.

As host of the event, the French hotel group is committed to promoting women in the hotel industry, but also more broadly to committing to increasing the number of women in the working population from 22% to 30%, when women represent one-half of the kingdom's diploma holding population. Accor is also the first hotel group to have developed the Saudi Management Training Program (SMTP) for Saudi women. This is a management training program specifically designed to encourage Saudis to enter the hotel sector.

This initiative has enabled the group to position itself as a leader on the issue of inclusion and integration of women in the region. Thus, it made sense to organize the event on the empowerment and integration of Saudi women in the workplace in an Accor group hotel. Various issues were addressed, such as how to develop the strategies and skills that are necessary for women to be effective leaders, the challenges faced by women leaders, and tools for balancing work and personal life.

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