Hotels banning shark fin set the bar

Air China Shark Fin Soup.jpg

If Asian hotel brands can do without shark fin, can't the Hyatts and Sheratons out there do the same?

Banquets and weddings in Asia are big deals, and two elements can drastically improve one's popularity among peers: hosting these events at internationally branded hotels, and serving shark fin. So the fact that Peninsula and Shangri-La have recently announced the banning of shark fin in their hotels speaks volumes.While they aren't the first (Fairmont did this years ago), Peninsula and Shangri-La are two of Asia's strongest hotel brands and have a lot to lose by not serving this "delicacy." Still, they're taking strides to stand firm in their sustainable seafood policies.
What does it say to customers? In the short term I think most status-seeking guests will simply choose to eat elsewhere, while others will realize shark fin is ridiculous after all. Either way, sustainable seafood policies from high-profile hotel groups will prompt customers to raise the question, "Why did you ban shark fin?" And whether they want to hear the answer or not, they'll get it.
There's still a long battle ahead, but until other governments follow Taiwan's recent decision to ban shark fin altogether, hotel groups need to be more responsible. If Asian hotel brands can do without shark fin, can't the Hyatts and Sheratons out there do the same?

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Craft House Founder and Director, Yvette Jong, contributes regularly to her HOTELS Magazine Blog titled, "The Good, the Bad and the Funky." Topics of discussion include all aspects of hospitality development, operations, branding, marketing, human resources, sustainability and much more.