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Free Tibet ramps up Lhasa hotel campaign

March 13, 2014 10:29 am Category: Asia, Community, Latest News A+ / A-
IHG - Are they listening?

IHG – Are they listening?

Protest group, Free Tibet has ramped up its campaign aimed at hotel groups with properties within Tibet’s capital, Lhasa.

According to a report on meetpie.com, Free Tibet’s campaign was stepped up after the discovery of a leaked document which showed that Lhasa police had requested that they be notified by hotels within ten minutes regarding arrivals from guests from “politically sensitive” areas, with police checks being performed on individuals before allowing registration, but wavering the process for Han Chinese from the same areas, according to Free Tibet.

Known for its strong environmental, social and corporate sustainability,IHG (InternContinental Hotels Group) has until March 15 to respond in writing to the United Nations Global Compact regarding a complaint from the Tibet protest group about IHG’s plan for a luxury hotel in Lhasa which is due to open within months.

“IHG takes great pride in operating responsibly and in a sustainable way, which is important for a company with our global footprint. This will be no different in Lhasa.” an IHG spokesperson said in the report. 

“IHG has a rigorous code of ethics and business conduct policy in place. As IHG will manage the hotel once open, the InterContinental Lhasa will be held to our high operational standards and policies, including the recruiting, training and development of our hotel staff. Our hotels not only create jobs but also drive tourism income, thereby helping to increase living standards in those countries where we have a presence.”

Hotel brands, Starwood, St Regis and Four Points by Sheraton also have properties in Lhasa. The luxury chains have also been asked by Free Tibet campaigners whether they will comply with police policy.

A statement from Starwood stated, “”Starwood Hotels has been a member of the Tibetan community for nearly seven years with the Four Points by Sheraton Lhasa Hotel and the St Regis Lhasa Resort. As a general business principle, Starwood follows local laws and regulations in the more than 100 countries in which it operates worldwide. 

“In Tibet, Starwood is committed to the betterment of the community by supporting its social and economic progress while operating with respect to the cultural rights and proud traditions of the Tibetan people.  

“Starwood’s presence in any market creates jobs and has a long-term positive economic impact on the community. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort has hired a predominantly native Tibetan staff – 45 per cent of the staff at the resort are Tibetan and the resort aims to increase this to 75 per cent by the end of the year. In addition, nearly 50 per cent of the staff at the Four Points by Sheraton Lhasa are Tibetans.”

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