This past week I managed to do my interviews with some of the hotel’s staff. I talked to people from the CARE committee, which is a voluntary program that takes care of the social responsibility of the establishment. I spoke with some of the managers from the many different departments at the hotel and a few other staff members that work in different areas.
The whole evidence collection was challenging. I did not quite collect everything, especially what was necessary from the maintenance department. Its manager was always busy.
From what I have gathered and after talking to people, it seems like most of the staff have learned about sustainable practices elsewhere and not necessarily from the hotel’s. However, the hotel has supported certain common practices such as recycling, and being conscious about the water and energy use.
I was surprise to hear practices by some which are not necessarily implemented at the hotel. I have to recognize that the hotel is located in a challenging area where the infrastructure and social structures are lacking. In addition, a lot of factories are located within the same area which contributes to bad odors and a degrading environment.
A hotel of this size and its theme as a resort do not necessarily mind the outside. They do have some ongoing social projects, where the community is being helped. However, the programs only target a partial aspect of what is affecting the community as a whole. This situation becomes a paradox for the Certification of Sustainable Tourism, which also promotes the sustainability of not only the hotel, but of the whole community.
Overall, I got a good impression of the Human Resources department, which is where I spent most of my time. They seemed pretty well organized and I got good feedback from outsiders of the department. It was a good place to spend my time and get an overall sense of the culture of the people at the hotel.
It was important to see that the subject has gained relevance within the country. I found that most people are familiar with the concept, even more than people in South Florida. I was able to visit other hostels in different areas where the initiatives for resource conservation were more apparent.
I got back to South Florida yesterday afternoon, and I will now be writing my final paper. I was able to meet great people and made some friendships. I appreciate this opportunity and I am ready to move on J