For the travel and hospitality industry, corporate social responsibility (CSR) can help a hotel, holiday park or bed-and-breakfast to thrive by motivating employees, differentiating the business in a competitive marketplace, and providing positive stories for the interest of local and national media.
A survey from Net Impact found that 53% of workers say that “a job where I can make an impact” was important to their happiness. Interestingly, 35% would take a pay cut to work for a company committed to CSR. Therefore, by working with a charity a business could attract more prospective employees, and a good CSR track record may be necessary to recruit top-level candidates.
Charity-based activities that take place at a hotel or holiday park can showcase the establishment and its facilities to a large number of potential customers. Charity partnerships also have the power to boost customer loyalty and improve the brand image - doing business with companies that have good CSR reputations can be a preference for consumers. What’s more, charity partnerships provide positive stories and case studies for the company’s website, local media and other marketing materials.
Equally, the hospitality industry is hugely important to charities, as the donation of function and conference space, plus discounted rooms, can have a big impact when it comes to planning charity activities, fundraisers or meetings.
Give Us Time rely completely on the generosity of the travel industry to help the growing number of British military personnel and their families that are looking for assistance. The charity matches up these families with donated holidays, to provide them with much needed rest, relaxation and family time after the rigours and stresses of an operational tour.
As a trustee for Give Us Time, it is an honour to offer the soldiers and their families the chance to have a holiday, to rebuild bonds and take much needed recuperation time.
For the travel industry, working with Give Us Time can be a very cost effective way of partnering with a charity, as we ask for both high and low-season accommodation holidays to be donated. Holiday providers can also choose to donate group holidays, making a difference to many people in a short space of time.
Taking care of our military is more important than ever, and the ongoing threat of global instability reminds us that, as a nation, we must look after our service personnel. Businesses in hospitality and travel have the power make a huge difference to those deployed on operational tours and their families back home.
This year, Give Us Time is keen to establish more partnerships within the hospitality industry, who can provide holidays and lasting memories for these families. While CSR can sometimes take a back seat compared to driving sales and footfall, increasing bookings, improving facilities and training staff; leaders in travel should remember that a good CSR programme has considerable commercial benefits.
It is difficult to pick just one highlight from my time working with Give Us Time, but a stand out moment occurred in 2015 when we took 40 plus families to Bulgaria with Diamond Resorts International. There was a real sense of team spirit and many of the children had never seen snow before - the look on their faces was unforgettable. Being there in person and witnessing how happy a holiday you helped make a reality made families that have been through so much, was something I will never forget.
It has certainly made me more determined to continue helping military personnel and their loved ones re-connect.
For more information visit giveustime.org.uk