Posts Tagged ‘Marriott’

Hospitality Industry Doing the Right Thing

Photo: Gregory Morris/REDBARNSTUDIO.BIZ

Photo: Gregory Morris/REDBARNSTUDIO.BIZ

Perhaps because I work around and within so many facets of the hotel/hospitality industry, I take it very personally if a brand goes astray of the client-base in values, and, conversely, when a business chain does something right by the people–I see it as cause for celebration. Any industry, actually, that makes good, people-centered choices, deserves accolades. Green and sustainability practices, community support, employee care and consideration, service standards–they all make doing business less of a chore, and make us, as consumers, more apt and satisfied to spend.

This is why I was thrilled with the Marriott Hotel chain coming out so strongly against the ridiculous discrimination bill, SB1062, in Arizona. In addition, other corporate giants have been steadfastly opposed to stepping backward from progress (travel industry heavy hitters like American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, plus other mega-corporations like Apple and the Superbowl…) and this is what, I suspect, swayed Arizona’s governor to veto that bit of nastiness.

Also in the last day or two, Hilton Hotels have made a great statement with their actions, doing the right thing. Hilton Worldwide, in all the properties they own or manage, will cease serving or ordering Shark Fin. The atrocious shark finning industry that catches sharks of many species in the wild, slices off heir dorsal and sometimes pectoral fins, then slips the dying animal back in the water to suffer and die, has been the target of forward thinking responsible folks for a long time. Petitions and dutiful action against this industry that is decimating entire species (parallel to rhino and elephant poaching–unnecessary agony for questionable if any return) have not had prior great effect–but the Hilton announcement this week is a big step forward. Their Asia Pacific properties might take a hit with customer demand and expectation, but not every right decision is the most popular decision…and that’s why I’m proud when the travel world makes good choices.

Pitch In for New Orleans Forgotten Angels

There are lots of organizations that do great work lifting the spirits each holiday season, trying to bring gifts and household necessities to families that aren’t able to provide fully for themselves. Toys for Tots (run by the Marine Corps) is perhaps best known, each major TV broadcast network does their own drive, as do hospitals, workplaces, gyms and schools, and service organizations in their local communities. Often you bring an unwrapped, new toy to a drop-off point, and they do the rest, making sure the gifts get wrapped and delivered to households to coincide with Santa’s visit (or Hanukkah time, or other winter holiday traditions in the home).

One of these programs was recently pointed out to me: the Forgotten Angels event put on each year by the Ozanam Inn in New Orleans. Ozanam Inn has been serving the homeless of the Big Easy since 1955, and the big toy drive event is this Saturday. They need 250 new toys and warm winter clothing so the children and their parents, who will be bused from shelters, can receive a warm holiday meal and a gift.

“We just want them to be kids, not homeless children, for a day and enjoy the holidays,” says Ozanam Administrator Clarence Adams. “We’re worried that we won’t have enough toys to go around this year. People can drop off new, unwrapped toys and winter clothes at fourteen donation bins in the metro area thanks to Ritz-Carlton and Marriott.” Tomorrow, Friday, is the deadline for the event, so if you’re not down south, you may not be able to do this particular give, but you can give to the organization to be sure their important services continue all year. Empty bellies growl from hunger 365 days a year, so let’s ramp up the spirit of the season and start giving today. Donations can easily be made here, and volunteer information for Ozanam Inn can be found here.