General Travel News

Teaching hotel guests to donate – a trend or a lifestyle?

Going green, looking for organic stuff, providing more for kids, doing charity work, and choosing travel destinations to evoke certain emotions have been mentioned as current hospitality trends. There were many successful stories about businesses using these trends that went viral in the media. Pacific Islands Club Saipan, a 300-room, all-inclusive resort in the South Pacific, deserves its name in the headlines as well. The hotel has transformed the act of charity from a pure business concept to the employees’ lifestyle and as popular guest activities.

PIC (Pacific Islands Club) Saipan's benevolent history goes back over 20 years ago when Charles F. (Chuck) Feeney, a billionaire once called “The Philanthropist of the 20th century,” built the resort. Chuck Feeney is one of the original founders of Duty Free Shopping (DFS) and now heads the private foundation “The Atlantic Philanthropies,” to which PIC belongs. The foundation gives away over US$350 million a year for charity projects around the world and PIC ( www.picresorts-saipan.com ) is proud to be part of this altruistic offering by donating the entire hotel profit for good works. The resort also provides contributions in the form of food, drinks, and gift certificates for almost any local event and fundraiser.

The culture of giving has inspired and become a lifestyle for hotel employees. One could see them volunteering for monthly island and beach clean-ups at different locations. Many managers and employees actively participate in local non-profit organizations and charity events such as the Rotary Club, Saipan Chamber of Commerce, American Red Cross, and Make-a-Wish Foundation.

A signature event that involves all hotel employees year round is the Marianas March Against Cancer. This is an island-wide, 12-hour event that targets the collection of funds to help cancer victims. PIC Saipan raised the most money through fundraising efforts for the last 3 years. This year, the resort’s employees raised over US$28,000. The funds accumulated through several activities including a car wash, food sales, garage sales, bike races, duck race, fun run, and other small fundraisers held by each department.

The last fundraiser, The PIC Palooza, was on August 28, which invited guests to enjoy an evening in costume with live music, dancing, games, raffles, and good food. The next event, a 40 km Race for Life bike race will be organized by the food and beverage department on September 25.

There are also chances for hotel guests to join PIC’s philanthropic efforts. Guests can easily donate to one of four charities by donating spare change in piggy banks located at PIC’s front desk. Each piggy bank represents a hotel charity project in Korea, Japan, Russia, and the USA. These are also the countries from where the resort’s customers arrive. To enjoy your holiday and donate to a worthy organization back home at the same time just feels right.

Another program that offers younger guests the merits of charitable giving is PIC’s signature guest program entitled Sharing Seeds. This daily morning activity is designed as an interactive English language class that teaches children the benefits of sharing and giving. To participate in this program, kids donate US$10. In return, they participate in a fun, organized class and outdoor activities; receive a notebook with stories and pictures about sharing to take home; and a personal piggy bank. The funds collected from Sharing Seeds support the same four resort charity projects, which target kids who are in need: orphans, born to families with disadvantages, or kids who are sick by a life-threatening illness. 

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