As 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the opening of Banyan Tree Phuket, the first ever Banyan Tree resort, we looked back at our journey thus far.
From a personal value shared by us at the inception of the brand and our single resort in 1994, our core founding value of sustainability has progressed over the past two decades:
- to managing or having stakes in 35 resorts and hotels, 70 spas, 83 retail outlets and three golf courses;
- to creating over 10,000 permanent new jobs globally across our resorts, spas, retail outlets, and golf courses;
- to manifesting throughout the design and development of our hotels;
- to each hotel being externally certified by third parties to EarthCheck’s globally leading sustainable tourism standards for development and operations;
- to institutionalising the Green Imperative Fund’s crowd funding matched by hotels in support of social and/or environmental projects where the primary beneficiary is external to Banyan Tree;
- to remaining active within the United Nations Global Compact since 2005 and the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism since 2013;
- to establishing Banyan Tree Global Foundation as a separate entity to enhance transparency and safeguards that such funds collected will in fact Embrace the Environment and Empower People;
- to formalizing a three-pillar approach of enhancing operational efficiency, protecting biodiversity, and developing local capacity;
- to our annual group wide efforts and targets which have collectively planted over 358,000 trees and provided a combined structure of mentorships and scholarships to over 74 young people in 8 years.
Beyond numbers, our goal has always been to create a magical experience for our guests. The outpouring of support for our sustainability efforts from past and present guests shared via social media during our 20th anniversary celebrations answered a question we were repeatedly asked during the process of our initial public offering some nine years ago- “Will Banyan Tree continue its sustainability efforts as a publicly listed company?” Yes, sustainability will remain core to our business; it must as it is demanded by our guests, our associates, our business partners, and we demand it of ourselves.
Mr Ho Kwon Ping
Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings Limited