Analysis at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention: focusing on the objectives despite the crisis
Climate change is one of the most pressing topics of our time, and coronavirus does not change that: quite the contrary. People are becoming increasingly aware that everything is interconnected and subject to reciprocal influences. This also applies to tourism companies in particular. For some years now efforts have been continually made in the hotel sector to improve the measures aimed at protecting the climate. These issues were discussed at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention by Madhu Rajesh, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and Inge Huijbrechts, Global Senior Vice President for Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communication for the Radisson Hotel Group.
It is evident to Madhu Rajesh that results can only be achieved through cooperation: “We work closely together with our member companies, partners and major stakeholders in order to regulate the cooperation within the industry with regard to sustainability and social involvement.”
Inge Huijbrechts is engaged in developing programmes for Radisson to promote responsible management and security in the group’s 1,500 properties in 120 countries. Together with her team she defines the strategy for responsible business from construction to operation and ensures that the more than 100,000 employees around the world adhere to the required responsible business activities. “We introduced the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol in May 2020, a programme dedicated to thorough cleanliness, disinfection and prevention”, Huijbrechts explained. She believes that it is a governmental responsibility to ensure that the incentives for socially and environmentally aware management are combined with sustainable investments and incentives”. The aim is to combine growth and sustainability.
For the future Madhu Rajesh would like to see small and medium-sized hotels joining the major chains in efforts to achieve more sustainability. This requires sharing information about concepts and strategies. Inge Huijbrechts added: “I am optimistic that effective cooperation will enable us to keep our objectives in focus, despite the disastrous year that we have just experienced.”
Text: Antje Lückingsmeier