International hospitality giant, Hilton has announced an initial investment of $1 million to drive sustainable travel and tourism in Africa. The company will focus on five key areas to achieve its goal, including: Youth Opportunity, Water Stewardship, Anti-Human Trafficking, Local Sourcing and Protecting Wildlife.
Youth Opportunity means that Hilton will focus on investing in training and apprenticeship programs to build a strong talent pipeline and tackle identified challenges for youth, including underemployment.
Water Stewardship refers to the expansion of existing partnerships and the creation of new alliances to help Hilton achieve its goal to reduce its water consumption by 50% and activate 20 context-based water projects in at-risk communities by 2030.
Anti-Human Trafficking is in regard to the provision of training and auditing to mitigate against human trafficking, alongside engagement with local NGOs to address the social challenges in local communities.
Local Sourcing is the creation of partnerships to build local entrepreneurs’ capacity to deliver high quality and authentic goods and services and integrate them into Hilton’s supply chain.
Protecting Wildlife refers to the promotion of responsible wildlife-based tourism.
The areas have been referred to as Hilton’s ‘Big Five’ agenda.
This announcement follows the recent launch of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half across the globe.
“Hilton is committed to creating a positive social and environmental impact in every community where we operate,” said Chris Nassetta Hilton’s President and CEO in a statement issued this week.
He was speaking at an event dubbed the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Nairobi, Kenya.
“Africa is an incredibly diverse continent, with equally diverse challenges and opportunities — and as we continue to grow in the region, we are focused on doing so in a way that promotes sustainable travel and tourism. Today we are pleased to take our efforts to the next level with an initial commitment of $1 million, which will allow us to invest in and scale up initiatives that build skills among young people, mitigate risks in human trafficking, engage local entrepreneurs across our supply chain, improve water efficiencies and promote responsible wildlife-based tourism,” Nassetta continued.
“Hilton’s President and CEO’s visit to Africa is timely and sends a strong signal to environmentally conscious investors across the continent. It will set higher standards for future projects in the hospitality industry throughout Africa,” said Leila Ndiaye, President & CEO of the Initiative for Global Development.
“Hilton’s growing interest in Africa’s promising and emerging market is a windfall for job creation among youth and will significantly contribute to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity,” she added.
Hilton’s Big Five will build upon an existing foundation of partnerships and initiatives to deepen the company’s impact and to inspire positive social and environmental change across its value chain.
Hilton’s existing 41 operating hotels in Africa have carried out 460 volunteering projects since 2012 to support their communities and manage their environmental impact.
With 53 properties in its development pipeline Hilton expects to double its portfolio of hotels on the continent during the next five years, including entering new markets such as Botswana, Ghana, Swaziland, Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda.