300,000 Rooms Complete, 15,700,000 To Go

Clean the World is an easy way for your hotel to give back

By Larry Mogelonsky President & Founder, LMA Communications | June 24, 2012

Clean the World is a three-year-old sustainability initiative to help improve hygiene and sanitation in third-world countries by partnering with North American hotels to recycle leftover soap bars in exchange for eco-friendly PR exposure. Because soap saves lives.

It would be a rare GM or owner that would shun their responsibilities to our environment. Guests are known to appreciate the work done by a property to achieve LEED or Energy Star certification. These programs offer operational savings, but more often than not, the capital costs rarely pay off in the short-term.

However, sustainability should be looked at not only within the property, but also in a broader sense; the world community. Forward-thinking operators are always looking for ways to contribute, especially when the benefits are measurable and the costs of execution are negligible.

Clean the World is an Orlando, Florida-based not-for-profit organization. Yet, in the three years since it commenced operations, properties representing a total of more than 300,000 guest rooms have come onboard. Their program is simple: take the used bars of soap left by guests in their rooms and refurbish them for distribution to the less fortunate. Since its founding in Feb. 2009 Clean the World has collected, recycled, and distributed more than 10 million bars of soap to children and families in communities around the globe.

This organization is working with some of the top names in the hospitality industry to collect, recycle, and distribute soaps and bottled amenities. Corporate partners include The Walt Disney World Resorts, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Best Western International, Caesars Entertainment, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Mandarin Oriental, Joie de Vivre Hotels, Lakeview Hotels & Resorts, Canalta Hotels, Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, and many more.

I had an opportunity to talk to Shawn Seipler, co-founder and CEO, about his successes with Clean the World. Here is an interesting overview of this operation. And if you are not participating, after reading this, you might want to consider.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.