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(Photo credit: Hotel ICON)

Kudos to three hotels who caught our attention recently for the work they’re doing to raise educational standards. In our book, these initiatives earn high marks for CSR relevancy, increasing employer-of-choice appeal and reaching out to the next generation travellers:


Ritz Carlton announced the expansion of its already successful ‘Succeed Through Service’ program by making the learning tools and resources available to all. Launched with America’s Promise Alliance in 2009, the project invites Ritz-Carlton employees to mentor students in low income communities “to follow their passions, imagine futures not previously envisioned, understand the value of giving back to their community, and learn valuable life skills that will help them forge a path of success.” Now anyone with a heart for helping kids can use the tool kit as a guide. Brilliantly simple, and simply brilliant.


Hilton Worldwide kicked off the second year of its ‘Teacher Treks Grant Competition’ with two programs: the Travel Grant and the Teach Abroad Grant. The Travel Grant rewards 10 teachers with the opportunity to visit another country for up to three weeks to explore and experience another culture firsthand. The Teach Abroad Grant targets English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers the chance to travel to a Hilton Worldwide hotel to provide three-week educational workshops to Hilton employees in emerging hotel markets. Another brilliant initiative.


Closer to home, Hong Kong’s Hotel ICON, Asia’s ‘teaching hotel’, was recently honoured at the prestigious United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism in Madrid. The hotel was praised for its “commitment to integrating teaching, learning and research.” Since opening two years ago, the award-winning hotel has served as a valuable resource centre, offering hoteliers, students and the public invaluable trade insights and industry knowledge, as well as fostering innovation in the hospitality industry. To that, we say “Well done!”

Jenny Lo

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