Dorsett Hospitality International is focusing on local communities, economies, the environment, and travellers’ well-being in its sustainability strategy and efforts to deliver even more positive experiences post-lockdown to guests by understanding them better.
Natalie Ip, head of sustainability, told TTG Asia that green practices can be a boon to the bottomline and even speed up tourism recovery.
Ip said the pandemic has presented many learning opportunities towards sustainable operations. For example, when hotel guests under quarantine in Hong Kong raised concerns over the use of plastic utensils, Dorsett Hospitality International promptly replaced those items with reusable options provided at check-in.
The small change allowed the group to divert 63 sets of utensils from the landfill for every guest on a 21-day quarantine.
Observing how the quarantine period took a toll on the mental health of guests, Dorsett Hospitality International partnered with Artificial Intelligence-powered mental health app, Clara, as well as organised wine tasting and fitness classes via zoom to lift the spirits of guests in isolation.
Dorsett Hospitality International’s closeness to local markets has resulted in meaningful partnerships that are helpful for the local economy and community, and for the creation of unique local experiences for guests.
For Earth Day last year, the group partnered with Green Monday to offer vegetarian meals to champion low carbon footprint diets among guests. The non-profit organisation promotes a healthier diet and a reduced carbon footprint by advocating for meatless Mondays.
Meanwhile, in a move to support local businesses, hotel guests were served Hong Kong egg tarts – a well-loved local nibble – for their afternoon tea snacks.
Ip, who will be speaking on sustainable tourism at the upcoming Digital Travel APAC 2022 from August 23 to 25, 2022, added: “By making sustainability a mission for your business, it helps drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the community, thereby creating more investment and job opportunities for your region.”
To this end, the group utilises its hotels as a platform to showcase local talents by sponsoring student talent innovation projects.
Ip believes that tourism businesses with a long-term sustainability plan will be rewarded with lower costs in the long run. Small actions can set off a chain reaction – switching out plastic water bottles and incorporating water filtration systems will not only cut costs but will also reduce the size of housekeeping carts, manpower for delivering water bottles, as well as waste generation.
She added: “Being part of the tourism industry, we believe in creating positive impacts within our local communities and advocate for travel experiences with fair labour practices and invest in the preservation of the local biodiversity.”