How the Hotel Business Gives Back

A while back, we talked about some of the ways that the overall travel industry is giving back to people in need, but now we’d like to include a topic that’s closer to our hearts — the hotels that have played a part in remarkable charitable efforts … many of which we are proud to claim as our affiliates and partners.

Earlier, we covered voluntourism and resorts that supported the unique movement, but we realize we missed out by not including hotels that you hear about more regularly and all the wonderful work they do for the community and the reputation of the travel industry as a whole.

Let’s start with Hilton — Hilton supports various charities through their Hilton Honors Giving Back Program — in fact, you can support any charity of your choice! If you are a Hilton Honors member, you receive points per stay at their hotels. For every 10,000 points a Hilton Honors Reward member earns, the Hilton donates $25 to your favorite charity. This is amazing because as an HHonors member, you have a say about where the money is going depending on what charity hits home for you.

A popular choice for family vacationers is the waterpark-meets-hotel concept, Great Wolf Lodge. Great Wolf Lodge supports families in a whimsical way that’s sure to appeal to all ages. With their life-size gingerbread houses, a $10 fee will let your family dine inside layers of real gingerbread, icing, and Peeps. All proceeds from the experience benefit the Ronald McDonald House. You’ll need to make a reservation pretty far in advance though as these sweet dining opportunities book up fast!

Choice Hotels promotes a charitable initiative through their “Room for Responsibility” program. Here’s how Choice describes the program on their website: “Our associates and the employees of our more than 6,400 franchised hotels around the world embody a commitment to giving back and embracing the five pillars of our corporate responsibility program each and every day.”

Room for Responsibility boasts several offshoots with their own focus, such as the “Room To Be Green” and “Room To Give” programs. Choice has also partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of America and Clean the World

Best Western donates to the Better World Fund. This charity helps with several very prevalent problems in the world today, such as poverty relief, disaster response, and improving educational opportunities.

Poverty in developing nations is an ongoing issue our world is facing, and Better World Fund has partnered with Kiva to help small entrepreneurs in these nations by donating money to them to support their businesses. Kiva has donated a total of 470 million dollars in microloans to entrepreneurs.

Disaster relief is another focus of the Better World Fund. They partner directly with Red Cross and American Red Cross to provide first responders in emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing. Best Western has given over 120,000 to these efforts so far through rewards programs and the employees of Best Western.

Education is also very important to Best Western, especially in the hospitality field: the brand provides scholarship opportunities for students who are pursuing a hospitality major.

Extended Stay America proudly sponsors the American Cancer Society through their Hotel Keys of Hope campaign. Sometimes, the most advanced care calls for faraway hospitals, and that’s where ESA comes in: they offer either free or deeply discounted rooms to families of individuals suffering from cancer.

“For every key dropped into the [designated Hotel Keys of Hope] box, we will donate $1 of hotel room value, up to $1 million dollars for the Hotel Keys of Hope program so that even more cancer patients can benefit.  Over the next two years, we have committed to provide 100,000 hotel rooms to help in the fight of cancer.”

Aimbridge Hospitality — Aimbridge, a hospitality management group that partners with major hotel groups and Creative Lodging Solutions, is proud of their involvement with organizations such as Autism Speaks and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

“Our community service efforts provide leadership and effect positive change to help make communities stronger. Service and volunteering are essential elements of Aimbridge.”

CLS gives back too! All full-time CLS employees are offered one week of paid time off for the community service project of their choice. Some of the most popular options for community service include the Humane Society, Junior Achievement, and the Nest. We have hosted events from these and other charities at our headquarters, and we always encourage our employees to take advantage of a unique opportunity to serve the community.


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