The international chain Accor, which has 4,000 hotels in 90 countries, has worked with an international community development organization that focuses on children, called Plan, since 2003. Started in France and England, the hotel program was set up so that both customers and employees could sponsor individual children. Today, more than 1,100 children are sponsored by Accor hotels in numerous countries, and Accor supports worldwide projects such as working with tsunami survivors in Indonesia, nutrition training in Zambia, building a school in Cambodia, and more.
In Thailand, the Pan Pacific Bangkok started a classic win-win program a dozen years ago that's still going strong. Targeting high school girls at risk for exploitation in the country's sex tourism trade, the hotel partnered with UNICEF to provide young women with training at the hotel in technical areas such as housekeeping, laundry, engineering, and food and beverage, as well as instruction in English and life skills such as computers, service etiquette, and personal finance. Upon completion, the women are qualified to work in the city's best hotels, providing careers for the women and highly skilled workers for the hotels. Nearly two dozen hotels have joined in — in Bangkok and Manila — and the program has been expanded worldwide to help young women and men in such countries as Brazil, Poland, and Ethiopia, among others.