When Corporate Social Responsibility is Irresponsible

365Playground’s founder and Managing Director Martin Michalik blogs about some great examples of hotels doing their social responsibility right, and one recent experience in which a large hotel chain manages to do everything wrong!

I recently found myself quite dismayed when I stayed at a large international hotel chain.

The reason for my unhappiness was that I noticed that a few dollars were added to my final bill. When I questioned what this charge was for, I was told that the company had a policy that for every $100 I spent, they added $1 which would go to a charity. However, If I did not want to make this donation, they would delete it from my bill.

I was not concerned about a few dollars — what upset me was that the company let the guest cover the cost of their own social responsibility, rather than taking money from their own profits.  Additionally upsetting was the way this was done. No one at the reception was able to tell me where the money actually went or asked what charity or cause I would like support. I found the entire situation both ridiculous and arrogant.

Meanwhile, there are properties such as Shinta Mani in Siam Reap that  donates $5 of every room night to the Shinta Mani Foundation, which supports street kids and less fortunate families. Thus the money to run the foundation projects come out of the owner’s own pocket.  Each and every cent of a guest’s contributions/donations are applied specifically to projects the Foundation already runs or a donation that the guest would specifically like to arrange.

Yet another fantastic example is Iniala, which donates 10% of its revenue to their charity foundation. They recently took it to an even higher level, donating their entire room revenue for August to charity — something genuine and real. Well done!

Shame on corporate hospitality giants with hundreds of properties and huge revenues, yet unable to cut from their own income to support anything that could be called charity — all while hoping their guests won’t notice a extra few bucks added to their bill.

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