Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Hammond

Tara Hammond

Group Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Tara Hammond was named the group corporate social responsibility and sustainability manager at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in May 2016. Previously, Ms. Hammond was the area CSR and sustainability manager for non-China hotels. She joined the group in 2011 as the area CSR and sustainability manager for resorts. During her time at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Ms. Hammond has contributed to the strategic development and implementation of corporate social responsibility through Sustainability, Shangri-La's Social Responsibility Programme, across the group's 96 properties worldwide. Sustainability encompasses environmental protection and community relations programs. In addition, Ms. Hammond has coordinated group-wide CSR initiatives, launching the Shangri-La Cares campaign to raise funds for relief and rebuilding projects. The group's CSR programs are measured by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Hang Seng Sustainability Index and have been recognized by industry awards. Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu, won the Intel AIM-Corporate Social Responsibility Award given by the President of the Philippines in 2011. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts CSR work was recognized at the Travel + Leisure Global Vision Awards for Leadership, and was a finalist at both the Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Awards and WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. From 2008 to 2010, Ms. Hammond was the environmental and social responsibilities manager at Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay in Oman. Prior to this role, Ms. Hammond was a consultant in the Sustainable Tourism Consultancy Project based in Syria. She has also held positions at the Jamaica National Tourist Office in Rome, Al Jazira Hotel and Resort in Abu Dhabi, and began her career in hospitality at The Carlton Hotel in the United Kingdom. Originally from the United Kingdom, Ms. Hammond studied responsible tourism management at the University of Greenwich following graduation from University of Surrey with a bachelor of science in International Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Please visit http://www.shangri-la.com for more information.

Ms. Hammond can be contacted at 212-302-3155 or tara.hammond@shangri-la.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.