Hilton to invest $1 million in sustainable tourism in Africa

04 Oct 2018, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


The initiative, tagged ‘Big Five’, will inspire positive social and environmental change across its value chain.

Legend Hotel Lagos Airport

The global hotel company, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, has announced a million-dollar investment to drive sustainable travel and tourism in Africa. Hilton’s President and CEO, Chris Nassetta, made the announcement on Wednesday at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) holding at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya from October 2-4.

“We are pleased to take our efforts to the next level with an initial commitment of $1 million,” said the CEO. “This will allow us to invest in and scale up initiatives that build skills among young people, mitigate risks in human trafficking, engage local entrepreneurs across our supply chain, improve water efficiencies and promote responsible wildlife-based tourism.”

The initiative, tagged ‘Big Five’, will build upon Hilton’s existing partnerships and initiatives to deepen the impact of the company and to inspire positive social and environmental change across its value chain. Some of the existing initiatives include Soap4Hope – in partnership with Diversey, a provider of cleaning and hygiene products; and also the partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development to patronise local farmers in Seychelles.

The ‘Big Five’ initiative will focus on youth opportunity – investment in training and apprenticeship programmes, and tackling identified challenges for youth, including underemployment. It will also focus on protection of wildlife, water stewardship to expand existing partnerships and activate 20 context-based water projects in at-risk communities. The project will help Hilton reduce its water consumption by 50 percent by 2030.

Others initiatives include anti-human trafficking – which entails providing training to mitigate human trafficking and engage with local non-governmental organisations to address the social challenges in local communities. The initiative will also create partnerships to build local entrepreneurs’ capacity to deliver high-quality goods and services, and integrate them into Hilton’s supply chain.

Ahead of the AHIF, Hilton had also announced the introduction of its Curio Collection in Africa with the opening of the Legend Hotel Lagos Airport on Monday. The hotel, located at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, marks the milestone of 500 operating hotels across Europe, Middle East and Africa for the hotel chain, of which 41 are located in Africa.

Legend Hotel Lagos Airport, the first Hilton hotel in Lagos and second in Nigeria, joins the over 60 Curio Collection hotels around the world. According to a statement by the company, there are additional seven hotels in its development pipeline in the country.

Last year, the company had launched the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative to support the conversion of existing hotels to Hilton brands with an investment of $50 million over the next five years. During the five years, the company expects to secure 100 conversion opportunities and add about 20,000 rooms to its portfolio to meet the growing demand for quality branded hotels across Africa.

Commenting on the announcement of the ‘Big Five’, the President and CEO of Initiative for Global Development, Leila Ndiaye, said, “Hilton’s growing interest in Africa’s promising and emerging market is a windfall for job creation among youth and will significantly contribute to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity.”

The AHIF, organised by the Bench Global Business Events, brings together international hotel investors and business leaders in international and local markets, and drives investment into tourism projects, infrastructure and hotel development across Africa.