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The hotel industry around the world continue to undergo transformation in order attain competitive edge among other destination places. The desire to provide superior services and positive clients experience necessitate the ongoing changes are also necessitated by. The hotel industry has a significant task in developing the appropriate tourism merchandise (Ayuso, 2006).
There is the need for the hotel industry to provide their clients with quality services while also ensuring their operations are responsible. There is also the recognizable responsibility for the hotel industry to structure their services in order to contribute to sustainable tourism (Ayuso, 2006). The tourism industry can employ socially accountable business activities aimed at promoting sustainable development.
The purpose of this paper is to indicate that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is integral to the long-term success of five-star hotels (Lee & Park, 2009). As much as several tourist hotels, promote their services globally, involvement in CSR practices is essential to the long-term success within the five – star hotels.
The Concept of CSR within the Hotels Industry
The emergence of globalization has presented massive opportunities for businesses to transform their product line in order to attract and retain a critical client’s base. Furthermore, the escalating expansion of the hotels industry in the tourism marketplace and constant production diversification presents diverse social, financial, environmental, and cultural concerns (McWilliams, Siegel and Wright, 2006).
CSR is a relatively fresh concept in the tourism industry. CSR has existed for about five decades since its emergence. However, the foremost thoughts about CSR were associated with business activities of undertaking good practices so that the public could see that the company is doing well (McWilliams, Siegel and Wright, 2006).
The transformation and development of these earlier thoughts into the present meaning of CSR has made it possible to ensure positive outcomes for both the society and the organizations (Bohdanowicz & Zientara, 2008).
Different hotels define CSR in varying that suits their structures. For example, Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited defines social responsibility in the areas of market place, workplace, environment, and community.
Elements of CSR
It is notable that many hotels have developed their CSR policies according to how they target their clients. However, some of the issues that the hotels focus on had remained similar throughout. The notable elements included in most CSR policies include the notion of accountability (Bohdanowicz & Zientara, 2008). The hotels seek to promote clients involvement, sustainability reporting, and performance related values.
For example, the Apex Hotels in the UK has listed their elements of CSR (Apex Hotels, 2013). The hotels business conduct also emerges as a crucial area of focus because (Lee & Park, 2009). It is noteworthy that several hotels have also adopted community engagement in their policies (Scherer & Palazzo, 2011).
Through this, the hotels seek to empower local community through social services activities and providing employment to the locals. The CSR policies also contain corporate governance, which ensures that the hotels protect the rights of the investors (Scherer & Palazzo, 2011).
The hotels have also included the element of environment including the precautionary principle, public involvement, training workforce, management systems, and sustainable development (Scherer & Palazzo, 2011). The hotels also seek to ensure the preservation of human rights including the rights of the local people, wellbeing and security, child labor, workers unions, and safe working environments among others.
The hotels also include the element of consumer rights such as ensuring safety, merchandise quality, and genuine product promotion (Werther & Chandler, 2006). The hotels also include workers rights such as non-discrimination, irregular downsizing, and career development.
It is argued that the reasons for CSR consideration in the hotels industry are to escalate profits, selling of brand name, ethical concerns, community and regulatory checks, and workforce relations (Manaktola & Jauhari, 2007).
The Five – Star Hotels also undertake CSR practices to reduce operation costs through the implementation of environmentally responsible activities aimed at minimizing energy and water use (Manaktola & Jauhari, 2007). Notably, these activities are an integral part to the hotels long-term success. The hotels derive their motivation to implement CSR practices because of the futuristic perspective that they stand to realize greater gains.
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CSR practices are based on the notion that visitors may be interested in paying more for the services they receive. Therefore, the efforts to undertake sustainability programs are crucial for ensuring a repeat dealing with visitors as well as escalated revenue.
The hotels surpass performance efficiency anticipations because of CSR practices (Lee & Park, 2009). Most hotels also report increased competitive advantage as well as improved destination image and status.
CRS practices in the Hotel Industry
It is notable that many hotels are nowadays engaging actively in CSR practices. The visitors normally value certain aspects of the destinations that they visit. The implementation of green practices by hotels has not entirely contributed to the positive experience among visitors (Manaktola & Jauhari, 2007).
Some practices have given visitors positive experience than others. Therefore, visitors tend to value the CSR practices, which give them positive experience as opposed to the others that seeks to reduce adverse environmental impacts (Manaktola & Jauhari, 2007).
The hotels also implement CSR practices through the development of policies, which describe their activities (Jackson & Hua, 2009). The hotels have policies that describe how they interact with their stakeholders such as suppliers.
Most hotels have contractual standards, which their suppliers must comply with because such policies guide the operations in all fronts (Jackson & Hua, 2009). The agreements ensure that suppliers provide the hotels with quality products that do not affect the health and safety of consumers.
The hotels also engage in CSR practices that brings together the community. The hotels normally undertake projects in the nearby communities including child protection, supporting homes for the elderly, education, and environmental conservation activities (Manaktola & Jauhari, 2007). These may be ongoing projects, which may eventually remain under the community leadership.
The hotels are also adopting green building technologies to reduce the impact of the hotels operations on the environment. The green technologies in the hotel industry are very crucial to the achievement of CSR goals. This initiative includes the installation of green roofs, which enhance the management of storm water while also minimizing energy use (Manaktola & Jauhari, 2007).
Furthermore, the buildings are built in such a way that they ensure efficiency in the use of crucial environmental resources such as water and energy. The hotels also install rooftop solar to water heating system at the hotel building to help in heating the water used at the hotels by the visitors (López-Gamero, Molina-Azorín and Claver-Cortes, 2011).
The buildings promote the conservation and recycling of already used materials. The hotels ensure that highly efficient plumbing equipment to escalate the processes for water conservation.
The hotels also use efficient and environmentally friendly transport services for their visitors. Most of the hotels are using a line buses using biodiesel fuels to transport their staff and visitors (López-Gamero, Molina-Azorín and Claver-Cortes, 2011). The transport mode is normally fuel efficient and environmentally sensitive. Furthermore, their transport systems release eco – friendly wastes.
The visitors are highly attracted to beautiful environment and landscapes. Therefore, many hotels have undertaken native landscaping seriously. The hotels use native species, which require slight or no irrigation (López-Gamero, Molina-Azorín and Claver-Cortes, 2011). The landscaping strategy enables the hotels to improve the aesthetic value of the facilities landscape in order to give their visitors positive experience.
The hotels are also having policies that guide sustainable acquisition programs, which reduce environmental footprints. The policies require that the hotel management ensure that the purchases are done electronically (López-Gamero, Molina-Azorín and Claver-Cortes, 2011). The hotels industry promotes the purchase of merchandises that have recycled substance or are recyclable.
The hotels also encourage purchase of locally manufactured products, minimizing ecological impacts linked to transportation, and reduction of pollution (López-Gamero, Molina-Azorín and Claver-Cortes, 2011). The hotels encourage local purchasing in order support the economy.
The hotels focus of employee training on waste management in order to increase efficiency in recovery and recycling. The staff training, upstream separation of leftovers, and onsite recycling spaces, and the last step is the step off site recycling (López-Gamero, Molina-Azorín and Claver-Cortes, 2011)
Benefits of CSR in the Five Star Hotels
The hotels engaging in CSR practices have increased chances of improving their financial performance (Jackson & Hua, 2009). Research has indicated that CSR activities enable hotels to do better economically. The hotels implementing CSR practices normally realize better financial performance. It is notable that higher CSR ratings generate massive financial benefits because of improved performance (Jackson & Hua, 2009).
The engagement of the community in CSR programs improves public relations. This is important for creating a positive reputation, which is crucial for the attraction of new clients and workforce (Jackson & Hua, 2009). Furthermore, many visitors have shown that they are interested in doing business with hotels, which have excellent CSR practices.
It is also notable that the performance of hotels depends on the nature of workforce. Strong commitment to CSR practices by the hotels enable them recruit the best workforce (Kang, Lee & Huh, 2010). Most people normally prefer to work in hotels that care for the environment and people.
The hotels that implement CSR activities also improves the morale of their workforce because people enjoy participating in community outreach activities (Kang, Lee & Huh, 2010). It is also notable that CSR practices contribute to sustainable growth of the hotels. The costs of doing business normally reduce drastically because of proper handling of wastes and promoting conservation principles (Holcomb, Upchurh & Okumus, 2007).
The hotels can communicate their contributions to towards environmental quality to potential clients. Furthermore, some hotels have achieved greater success because their CSR activities are well communicated to represent identity (Holcomb, Upchurh & Okumus, 2007).
In summary, this paper has established that the implementation of CSR practices in the five star hotels is crucial for their long-term success. It is notable that CSR has certain elements that are similar around many hotels. The notable elements of CSR include accountability, human rights, environment, corporate governance, employees, stakeholders’ engagement, and consumer rights protection among others.
The hotels engaged in CSR practices enhances their financial and performance through improved clients base. Furthermore, visitors are attracted to the hotels, which implement CSR practices, which give them good experiences.
It is notable that several hotels in the industry are implementing excellent CSR practices with the aim of enhancing their long-term success by showing responsibility to the environment and communities (Grosbois, 2012). However, this paper makes the following recommendations to the hotels industry.
The hotels should enhance the understanding of CSR and make the exchange of experience and best practices possible as an industry (Park & Lee, 2009). This is critical because the hotels will be able identity the best practices that creates meaningful outcomes to the community and environment.
The hotels industry should undertake an assessment of how their CSR practices in the community is contributing to development. This needs to be documented and shared with communities to ensure that the good practices act as models for bigger projects by other interested organizations (López-Gamero, Molina-Azorín and Claver-Cortes, 2011)
The hotels industry should also enhance their CSR activities reporting (Grosbois, 2012). The hotels should put in place measures for continuous reporting of their activities to the public.
List of References
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