Here at coralrange one of our most fundamental beliefs is giving back. Reaching out to and supporting the communities that support you is important for a multitude of reasons one of which is it’s the right thing to do! And from a business perspective, happy, healthy, and safe communities are good for the Caribbean tourism and hospitality industries.
- GO LOCAL: You have to have music to play in your restaurant and poolside, you need art to hang on your walls and you need food to stock your kitchens with so go local: play music created by local musicians, hang art crafted by local artisans (which you can also give customers the opportunity to buy), and see where you can replace imported foods with farm fresh ingredients.
- ENCOURAGE: Encourage your team members to volunteer or find a local cause and allow time off for charitable enterprises.
- GIVE: For example: when someone approaches you from your community library requesting donated lunches for a day long seminar they’re hosting on resume writing, see what you can do.
- FUND: We all know that there are countless requests for funding for various community programs. Choose one that aligns with your brand and fund it! If everyone steps up a little then a lot of good will come of the combined efforts. You can’t support everyone, but you can choose to support someone.
- ORGANIZE: While it’s much easier to have community organizers come to you, why not during our slower seasons go to them? See what your community’s needs are and provide for them or look at your own needs from the members of the community you draw upon and give training, internships, and opportunities to learn from what you do at your hotel, tour operation, or restaurant.
- INVOLVE: Involve your guests! Millennial travelers are ‘global citizens’ who educate themselves on where they are going and spending their money and are therefore keenly aware of any shortcoming the communities in which they vacation may have. Allowing an avenue for them to give back is just common sense since it taps into your guests’ charitable natures and works to tie them to your location, giving an incentive for them to return. A few examples of this are:
- Belize’s Turtle Inn which equips guests with the means to spear their own invasive Red Lionfish (and then dine on it later!)
- Marriott Caribbean’s ‘Carry-On Charity’ that is customized to each of their locations throughout the islands who for instance at their Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star location in St. Thomas, USVI focused on packing backpacks for foster children during back to school months and then shifted to donating gifts to orphanages during the holiday season.
- Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos where guests can teach children math and reading at a local youth center, visit nursing home residents, or help sort artifacts relating to the island at the national museum.
Here at coralrange our community outreach runs the gamut from quarterly 100 Women Meetings, graphic design for the local library, and teaching internet research and basic website construction during a summer IT camp.Your Caribbean business can either be an asset to your community or a drain – the choice is yours!Click To Tweet