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InterContinental Hotels & Resorts across Australasia will next week embark on a programme of activities around the region to help protect and preserve unique and cultural heritage sites as part of Responsible Business Week 2012.
The theme for Responsible Business Week 2012 is inspired by National Geographic’s support of UNESCO’s World Heritage and sustainable tourism initiative ‘People Protecting Places’ – which celebrates the beautiful, unique and different in the world.
During Responsible Business Week (Monday 17 September – Friday 21 September) InterContinental Hotels & Resorts across Australasia will emulate UNESCO’s mission to protect and preserve unique natural and cultural heritage sites close to their hotels.
This marks the third year of InterContinental’s Responsible Business Week in partnership with National Geographic and reinforces the hotel’s commitments to ensuring their location remains an appealing place to visit for future generations.
2012 also marks the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention – during which special focus is placed on the links between World Heritage and sustainable development – and in particular, the role played by local communities.
“Hotels play an important role in communities all around the world and it’s great InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is making such a robust commitment to looking after their local heritage sites. We look forward to alongside the hotels in the conservation of a number of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites next week and beyond,” says Kimberly Connaghan, V.P. National Geographic Global Media, Travel, and publisher of National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Victoria Rose, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) director of sustainability, Australasia adds: “IHG understands acting responsibly reinforces trust in our brands, builds competitive advantage and strengthens our corporate reputation whilst doing the right thing for our communities. With hotels all over the world, we have a tremendous opportunity to make travel and tourism more responsible and successful".
Responsible Business Week initiatives that will be carried out by InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in Australasia next week, in the spirit of ‘People Protecting Places’ include:
- InterContinental Adelaide – On Monday 17 September, staff will show their support for Adelaide’s unique cultural site, the River Torrens. In protection of this natural historic site, InterContinental Adelaide staff will roll up their sleeves and don gloves to remove rubbish from the River Torren’s river banks and waterway.
- InterContinental Melbourne – On Wednesday 19 September, 20 staff members will travel to Herring Island situated in the Yarra River, to help weed and maintain the island for generations to come. InterContinental Melbourne will also leverage their partnership with wildlife protection not-for-profit organisation, Zoos Victoria, to support primate conservation. The hotel will encourage guests to recycle unused mobile phones to help lessen the demand on coltan, a metal often mined within native gorilla habitats.
- InterContinental Sydney – On Tuesday 18 September, staff will foster a tree in the Royal Botanic Gardens and on Wednesday 19 September, staff will volunteer at St Canice Church to provide a BBQ for Sydney’s homeless community. To cap off InterContinental Responsible Business Week, management will hold a conservation education session on Friday 21 September for staff, in partnership with National Geographic.
- InterContinental Wellington – Throughout InterContinental Responsible Business Week, staff will be helping to conserve the beautiful native bush surrounding the hotel. InterContinental Wellington will give away up to 500 seedlings, consisting of three varieties of native seedlings to hotel guests and locals to help contribute to the ongoing rejuvenation of these special areas.
- InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa – As an extension of their Community Care program, staff will next week collaborate with the Fijian Ministry of Education and the People’s Resort to improve education facilities in the greater Natadola community. In a bid alleviate poverty and to help make Fiji a knowledge-based society, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa will work with six schools in the Natadola community including – Tuva Indian Primary School; Rahmatullah Khan Memorial School; Bitiri Public School; Ratu Ilaisa Memorial School; Naidiri Bay Khalsa Primary School and Lomawai Primary School.
- InterContinental Resort & Spa Moorea – Staff will focus on conservation efforts to preserve the picturesque Moorea Lagoon, which surrounds the resort. On Thursday 20 September, staff will release fish to repopulate underwater life and will re-plant coral within the lagoon. The resort will also collaborate with the CRIOBE Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory and Te Mana O Te Moana – a not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote biodiversity.
- InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa – On Tuesday 18 September, management and staff will organise guided tours of the resort’s recycling centre. Over the week, staff will install local beekeeping hives on the property to promote community agriculture. The resort will also launch a photography display by French environmentalist Yann Artus Bertrand entitled “Water, Forests and Biodiversity” to help educate guests on the importance of conservation.
In 2011, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts around the world dedicated more than 10,000 hours to Responsible Business Week activities aimed at preserving the communities where they operate. Activities ranged from cleaning local beaches and historical villages and monuments, restoration projects at national parks, to refreshing urban street walks.