Award Presenter for the annual HICAP Conference

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HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards, Hong Kong

Craft House Founder and Director, Yvette Jong, has had the pleasure of presenting one of the annual HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards for many years. Jong has always had a passion for building spaces that are good for the environment, community and investors. She was first introduced to HICAP in 2007 while working at Howarth. Prior to founding Craft House, Jong published a study in 2010 for HICAP and WWF about sustainable hotels and has been introducing the Sustainable Hotel Awards since.  

SHANGRI-LA VILLINGILI RESORT & SPA in the MALDIVES receives The 2014 HICAP Sustainable Hotel Award for Sustainable Communities

Being the first five-star resort in Addu Atoll initially posed a challenge to creating a sustainable supply chain. In response, a partnership was created with local farmers in establishing the Addu Meedhoo Cooperative Society (AMCS). At the outset, funds were provided to build four units of greenhouses the farmers would otherwise have been unable to afford. The cooperative paid back the funds within 10 months. Funds will likely be provided on a similar basis for buying AutoPots to better yield produce via protection from bad weather and pest issues. By providing local farmers with a new distribution channel, the resort contributes to the local community’s economic development.

Since 2010, the resort has purchased more than 233,000 kilograms of locally grown fruits and vegetables, which have become an important part of the resort’s menus. The AMCS has also begun selling its produce to the local community. This has not only enhanced the farmer incomes, but also made available a wider variety of highly nutritious fruits and vegetables to the local market. Today, AMCS supports the livelihoods of 93 farmers, of which 30 are women.

Other community initiatives include: 

• Employing local housewives to produce flower bouquets given to every female guest upon arrival and snacks served at the all-day dining and staff restaurants.

• An 18-month apprenticeship programme for local youths to gain experience with the aim of securing long-term employment.

• Local tours for guests promoting local culture and history and allowing them to engage and interact with the local community meaningfully.

HICAP (Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific) is Asia Pacific's most established and recognized conference organizer for the hotel investment and development community. Since 1989, HICAP (Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific) events are where the region’s preeminent players and executives gather to meet and network, make deals, explore opportunities, and exchange ideas.

The HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards were launched in 2007 with the aim of recognizing hotel operators and developers in the Asia Pacific region who demonstrate exemplary sustainable practices and environmentally and culturally responsible development. Through these awards we hope to inspire industry-wide commitment to embracing and proliferating sustainable development as standard practice to help preserve our global and local environments and cultures.