Considerate Hoteliers Association Director says it’s time for more hospitality businesses to “stand up and be counted” with their CSR work

The International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) has just completed its pilot “Skills Exchange Initiative”, that provided a hospitality industry professional for ten days of free mentoring, to help Rosy Guesthouse in Cambodia become commercially sustainable.  John Firell MIH believes more hospitality businesses need to take their social responsibilities the extra mile and get involved in projects like this initiative.

The Skills Exchange Initiative has been set up to help youth travel organisations in emerging and lesser developed countries become more profitable, long-term.  The exchange of skills and exposure to best practice examples will help Rosy Guesthouse promote their accommodation to travellers in advance of their arrival in Cambodia and adapt to changes in customer demand.  The initiative also increases industry appreciation of the challenges that travel organisations in the developing world face.  The ISTC would like more hospitality business owners and managers to volunteer in the future and assist fellow businesses across the world.

Steve Lowy, of umi hotels, voluntarily worked with Rosy Guesthouse, training the team in digital marketing, front of house, social media, budgeting and dynamic pricing skills.  Digital agency 2am, that work with umi hotels, has built a new website for the guesthouse.  Rachel Band, Co-Owner of Rosy’s said: “We are very happy to have been involved in the project and to have been partnered with someone that has as much energy, enthusiasm and general openness as Steve.  His team in the UK have given us a website and brand and taught us how to reach our target market through the internet and other advertising. We are also now more aware of the importance of working with others working in the same industry and the benefits this can have.”

Rachel went on to say “perhaps the most important change for me personally is the assistance on how to make our budget for the coming year, based on our previous revenue and room occupancy. I look forward to building on the groundwork Steve has laid out for us”.

John Firrell MIH, Director of Considerate Hoteliers Association when told of Steve’s mission commented, “It is always inspiring to hear about hoteliers who make that extra special effort, take their social responsibilities the extra mile, and put their efforts where others merely pontificate. Steve has humbled many of us by going to Cambodia, rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in.  He supported the very worthy work of the Hotel School whilst there but also indicated his willingness to both support and promote the work of the school from here on in.  We could do with more people with the vision and “can do” that Steve has exhibited – truly a Considerate Hotelier. There are many within the responsible hotel sector who do get involved, and long may it continue, but equally there are many less responsible hoteliers who do not. It’s time to stand up and be counted, as Steve has done.”