GUILLERMO PAN­TOJA

M Style - - Hospitality - GEN­ERAL MAN­AGER OF THE MELIÁ HANOI

In June 2017, the Meliá Hanoi spear­headed this ini­tia­tive, bring­ing the Soap for Hope pro­gramme to the group. We spoke with the ho­tel’s gen­eral man­ager, Mr Guillermo Pan­toja, who has worked hard to en­sure the suc­cess of the pro­gramme.

How long has the Meliá Hanoi been in­volved in Soap for Hope?

The Soap for Hope pro­gramme was of­fi­cially launched at the Meliá Hanoi in June 2017. We are proud to be the very first Meliá Ho­tels In­ter­na­tional prop­erty to launch this cam­paign.

How does the ho­tel run this pro­gramme on a daily ba­sis?

The ho­tel man­ages the daily op­er­a­tions of the pro­gramme by col­lect­ing used soap and send­ing it to CCIHP (the Cen­tre for Cre­ative Ini­tia­tives in Health and Pop­u­la­tion, an NGO) and to Di­versey. From there, CCIHP and Di­versey are in charge of sani­ti­sa­tion and the pro­duc­tion of new soap bars. The ho­tel also or­gan­ises a monthly soap­mak­ing event to raise aware­ness among its em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers. The soap bars are split into two groups: the first is sent di­rectly to re­mote ar­eas on monthly char­ity trips, and the rest is sent back to the ho­tel to be dis­played and sold in the Meliá Bou­tique, to raise funds for the ho­tel’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

What do ho­tel guests think about the pro­gramme?

Soap for Hope is an im­por­tant ini­tia­tive that re­ceives tremen­dous at­ten­tion from our cus­tomers, es­pe­cially our in-house guests. They can con­trib­ute to the com­mu­nity by tak­ing part in the monthly soap-mak­ing event, or by pur­chas­ing a bar of soap. This small but mean­ing­ful ac­tion brings them a lot of joy.

Is there any con­tact be­tween the ho­tel and the com­mu­ni­ties or re­cip­i­ents of the project?

Char­ity trips to ru­ral ar­eas of North Viet­nam are or­gan­ised monthly.

For each event the ho­tel works in co­or­di­na­tion with CCIHP and Di­versey to de­liver soap to the fam­i­lies there, teach them about per­sonal hy­giene and give them some small gifts to sup­port them in their daily lives. We also have a plan to sup­port a school in Hoa Binh, a moun­tain­ous prov­ince. We’ll reg­u­larly send soap to the school to main­tain the qual­ity of hy­giene for stu­dents there. We be­lieve our con­tin­ued com­mit­ment will def­i­nitely change their lives in a pos­i­tive way.

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