Authentic Social Responsibility in Hotel Companies

Around the holidays, many hospitality companies become more vocal about their charity programs and nonprofit partnerships. And to some of us, this might ring a little inauthentic, since it seems like social responsibility is a discussion topic only consumers’ sensitivity is heightened.

Kimpton Hotels, on the other hand, has always sounded awfully sincere in their message of social responsibility. Kimpton’s website has a very visible section devoted to explaining its Kimpton Cares programs, ranging from environmentalism to HIV prevention to women’s issues.

This article found on discusses a promotion where guests who use the “Giving Tree” rate code will have $10 from their stay donated to The Nature Conservancy.  Wonderful!  Hotel Allegro in Chicago also debuted a holiday party promotion where party planners can select two of four “gifts” for their event: free cocktails, free centerpieces, free desserts, or 5% of their total spend donated to the charity of their choice.  Brilliant!

And yet, as authentic as Kimpton may be in its devotion to social responsibility, and as creative as they may be with their promotions, the buck ultimately stops with the guest and his/her freedom to choose.  Yes, it is important to give guests choices, but I have to ask: if social responsibility is such an integral part of a company’s culture, at what point does the company take back the decision-making and simply tell guests, from time to time, what is really good for them?  Not to mention, the world around them.

Read the article here.

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