SLH’s Considerate Collection doubles in size as it hits first anniversary

From just 26 hotels at the launch of Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s (SLH) Considerate Collection a year ago, there are now 38 in the network of properties that are committed to the critical trio of environment, community and culture conservation.

Five more members will soon be announced.

Mark Wong, senior vice president, Asia Pacific of SLH, told TTG Asia that the creation of the Considerate Collection has allowed the company to identify many attractive and responsible hotels that “were not on our radar”.

Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary, one of the Asian properties listed under the Considerate Collection, encourages guests to live in harmony with the surrounding forest and farmland, brings traditional doctors and local herbs into its wellness programmes, and makes it easy for guests to support local community projects

The Considerate Collection is set for continued growth, shared Wong, evident in the number of keen properties approaching SLH at the early stage of development.

“They want to be included in the Considerate Collection and are taking our suggestions very early on about incorporating sustainable features and materials into their architecture. They know that it is easier and cheaper to incorporate such features at the design stage than to retrofit them later,” said Wong.

Wong recalled that SLH decided to launch the Considerate Collection after realising that more and more people have used the pandemic downtime to reflect on their buying choices, and have decided to be more conscious when they return to travel.

“That desire is recognised by many names – conscious travel, purposeful travel and responsible travel. Travel itself leaves an environmental impact because people fly, but travellers can be conscious about how they travel in the destination, use the hotel, and interact with the people and environment. There is greater social consciousness about the act of travel,” he added.

He noted that there are many responsible hotels around the world – particularly in Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives in Asia – and SLH can use its global reach to bring such properties to the attention of many travellers and travel buyers worldwide.

These are properties that do more than just end their reliance on single-use plastics, which Wong said “is so basic and expected now”.

He said: “We partner with recognised organisations like Greenview and Global Sustainable Tourism Council as well as topic experts and travel agents specialising in this field to provide us with guidance and ensure we are not just greenwashing our approach.

“All our Considerate Collection hotels have to undergo strict assessment across three levels – Environmentally Conscious, Cultural Custodians, and Community Minded. Our members have to take these pillars into their operational consideration to qualify and ensure that these are achieved both behind the scenes and in guest-facing experiences.”

Wong noted that travellers often question how luxury travel could be sustainable, but clarified that “it is possible” since the delivery of a luxurious experience requires authenticity and a uniqueness that cannot easily be bought.

“For example, instead of gifting guests an imported turn-down gift, we rope in the locals to craft something using native or upcycled materials. That is unique, very local, and very authentic. Another example, at Amilla Maldives Resort, guests are taught how to be sustainable so that they can bring those practices home.”

Wong added that responsible travel is now more than just a trend.

“It won’t go away any time soon and will become a requirement among conscious travellers. In fact, our corporate RFPs now come with a request for our hotels to submit details on their sustainability policy and programmes,” he said.

“SLH launching the Considerate Collection last year puts the company ahead of the game, and this will continue to be expanded in time to come,” he concluded.

Editor’s note: Fifty-one Considerate Collection properties were listed in the earlier report by mistake.

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