Hotel Chains on Mission of Mercy
In the wake of the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami disaster
that decimated large coastal areas of South Asia, hotel companies
across the globe channeled their energies into a massive
Over the past month, hotel chains have mobilized their work
forces and raised millions of dollars that is being funneled to the
stricken region through several international relief organizations,
including the American Red Cross and UNICEF.
At White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide Inc., a Tsunami Relief Fund was created, to which
employees of the chain’s 750 hotels contributed directly through
Starwood properties affected by the disaster include the
Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket and Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort in
Thailand, and the Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort and Sheraton
Perdana Resort, Langkawi, in Malaysia. While the resorts sustained
minimal structural damage, several employees lost their homes and
all of their belongings.
“Care packages with basic necessities such as toothbrushes and
shampoo, as well as money from a donation drive among guests and
management of the hotels, are being distributed to those in need,”
said a Singapore-based spokesperson for Starwood Asia Pacific
Hotels & Resorts.
One week after the devastation, London-based InterContinental
Hotels Group had committed $125,000 in funds to UNICEF to match the
donations of contributions made by its employees, vendors and hotel
owners. “We hope our commitment will motivate even more
organizations to come forward to support these countries, whether
it is through funds to bring in food and medical supplies or simply
to lend a hand,” said an IHG spokesperson.
Of the chain’s two Holiday Inns in the affected areas, the
Holiday Inn Resort Phuket was the worst hit, losing several guests
and employees and sustaining considerable damage. The property
remains closed indefinitely.
While none of Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ 45
properties were affected by the disaster, the chain’s employees
raised more than $295,000 in aid to be distributed by the Red
In New York City, the Amsterdam Hospitality Group promised to
contribute $1 per night for every reservation booked and completed
from Jan. 9 through March 1 at any of its five properties.