2012 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards Winner: Best in Community Engagement and Development
The Soria Moria Boutique Hotel is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia and makes the perfect stepping stone for exploring the World famous and awe-inspiring, Angkor Temple Park.
This is truly a hotel with a heart. Ensuring tourism benefits local people is what this hotel is all about. From inspiring local employment policies, to bicycle hire that funds local children’s projects, guests can be blown away by the level of community development projects Soria Moria is dedicated to supporting.
Why Wild Asia loved this Winner
Our favourite concept!
Local Ownership – The initial idea behind Soria Moria was to combine a business opportunity with a strong focus on helping the community, especially by contribution to long-term economic development. Through their own, Soria Moria Educational Development Program, the local employees have become majority owners of the business; an initiative to empower through ownership. By being share owners, the employees are able to take part in the decision making process and share any profits made. It also enables the employees to take part in supporting the surrounding community. The long term goal is to transfer the remaining shares to the staff.
- HRM Management – Soria Moria has created its own ‘Employee Elevator Scheme’ to encourage continual professional development of locally sourced staff (e.g. five members of management started as housekeeping staff)
- Capacity Building – They offer hospitality training in the hotel for local young adults and staff, their innovative $1 night provides a weekly busy platform for local youngsters to practice their hospitality skills at the hotel
- Supporting Local Staff – Staff have the opportunity to take part in an international exchange programme to gain overseas hotelier experience, and for staff wishing to stay closer to home some staff have also been assisted with funding to attend University in situations were previously would not have been possible before
- Child Safety – In a destination that experiences many challenges with child labour and exploitation, the hotel has signed the ChildSafe International ‘Code’ and is truly dedicated to protecting children’s rights and protecting their well being. Guests are reminded throughout the hotel to be aware of signs of children related problems to look out for and how to report them
- Fundraising – The hotel has a whole host of fundraising schemes through bicycle rental, sales of gifts and collecting donations. Money goes to various projects, such as: rural schools for water provision, local teacher salaries and children’s art classes, traffic safety scheme, education centre, street kid project and children’s hospital
- Visitor Awareness – As well as their own informative responsible tourism literature, the hotel promotes the Ministry of Tourism ‘do’s and don’ts’ guide to ensure that visitors’ stays are culturally sensitive and enjoyable
What did the Judges have to say?
“Many great initiatives being put in place by this hotel”
“Highly principled operation”
“An excellent model …I admire their unique approach to promoting ownership by staff”