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Sustainability is more than environmental protection: Green Pearls(R) hotels and their socio-economic approaches

September 8, 2020 Headline News, Hotel Feature No Comments Email Email

Tourism and Sustainability

Tourism has a special role to play in the issue of sustainability as it also contributes to changes in the climate, along with the use and exploitation of resources and people. Travelers want to enjoy nature and local, authentic experiences and sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly important all over the world in times of rapidly advancing climate change, over-tourism and unequal social factors.

Governments around the world have recognized the importance of sustainability and sustainable tourism. They make rules and laws, but it is the people who have to change their mindset and implement them in their day-to-day lives to make a difference.

At Green Pearls®, we are very fortunate to work with pioneering people every day. Our hoteliers deal with environmental protection and social sustainability on a daily basis and inspire their employees and guests with their ideas. Managing employees, working conditions, training, safeguarding staff and safeguarding the interests of local communities are key issues.

Today we would like to introduce 5 hoteliers and their social concepts. Especially in times of crisis caused by COVID-19, hotels worldwide have a unique responsibility.

Creativhotel Luise – knight in shining armour

During the Corona crisis, the Creativhotel was deeply committed to supporting the local community. Right at the beginning of the crisis, a neighborhood aid scheme was set up with its main purpose being to protect the risk groups and help those who were alone. Neighbors were able to contact the hotel at any time and employees went shopping for them and ran errands or similar.

Another project was the Erlanger Carepaket – an aid package from the city of Erlangen for its residents.

This package contained numerous products from Erlangen retailers and the surrounding region and could be sent to people who one would like to thank or send well wishes to. Packages could not only be sent to specific people, but senders could also choose a “for strangers” option. The hotel chose fitting locations and people who deserved a special thank you during the Corona period, some of these included the local hospital and laboratory staff, nursing staff in the senior care home, postmen and many more. A total of 423 packages were purchased within 2 weeks. “We were very happy about the enthusiastic response to this project, which enabled us to support not only many retailers, but also many ‘crisis helpers’ a little bit,” the hotel said.

In joint cooperation with the city of Erlangen, the Creativhotel also took in Corona patients who only had mild cases, but no suitable accommodation (for example a refugee home, hostel, etc.) to quarantine themselves in. Therefore, some families and individuals spent their quarantine period in a secured area of the Creativhotel.

Bio Children’s and Family Hotel Gut Nisdorf

Sabine Stange and Jürg Gloor from the Bio Children’s and Family Hotel Gut Nisdorf are part of the Common Good Economy movement, which was founded in 2010 by Austrian journalist Christian Felber and now has members all over the world. Its aim is to create an alternative to the capitalist market economy: Money and markets should serve the people and not vice versa. Instead of just economic growth, the aim is to constantly increase the common good. The well-being of the people is beginning to move more into the center of economic activity.

For the owner couple Jürg Gloor and Sabine Stange, the main focus is on working sustainably and for the benefit of all.

Children and Nutrition: The Bio Breadbox Initiative

In numerous cities and regions in Germany, local organic breadbox initiatives are working as a network to ensure children have access to healthy, nutritional food. Gut Nisdorf has also been involved for three years now, packing a reusable breakfast basket with ingredients from organic farming for first graders from the area to help them the best start to their school day. The aim of this initiative is to convey to children how important and valuable a healthy breakfast is as well as where it comes from.

Zeavola’s contribution to mitigating the effects of COVID -19 for employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality industry in Thailand, where tourism is an important economic factor, particularly hard.

For the eco-boutique hotel on Phi Phi Island, sustainability also means protecting the workforce and the local community. The management of the resort decided to close the hotel on March 26, 2020, to allow employees to travel home before a lockdown. Due to Florian Hallerman’s quick action, it was possible to send all employees home except for the emergency team before Thailand stopped all travel. This was good for both the employees and the hotel.

As a result, expenses for meals, electricity, water, sewage and even TV channels and WIFI were reduced significantly.

With the help of the Thai government, hotels were able to send their employees on vacation and pay them up to 62% of their regular salary with additional loans bridged the time until the first social security payment. All employees were therefore still able to provide for their families. In a joint staff vote, it was decided to dissolve the existing pension fund and pay it out to the employees so that another 3 months of payments could be secured. The small team that had stayed in the hotel took care of the hotel, the equipment and the jungle garden. Unfortunately, even the Zeavola could not avoid dismissals, 21 employees were dismissed in accordance with the applicable labor laws. Some of them took early retirement and received the full compensation package according to their years of service. Through the Thai social security system, many of them received compensation for 6 months, which gave them the opportunity to find alternative work during the upcoming travel season. The Sea Gypsy community was also affected by the lockdown. As the school was closed, Zeavola stopped the weekly meal for school children and teachers. However, the community was still supported by monthly rice contributions.

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