‘Hotels Joining Hands’ during COVID-19. The travel industry has been devastated by COVID-19, with international and local travel stalled in many places around the world as people face the direct and indirect problems caused by this pandemic. Most people have now accepted that the road to recovery will be long and trying and that the future looks uncertain and bleak for many.
We have been closely monitoring the situation in Siem Reap, Cambodia, our home for over 5 years and somewhere that is close to our hearts. With the borders effectively closed, tourism has stopped. The magnificent Angkor Wat and the surrounding temple complex attracted 2.2 million foreign visitors in 2019, but those numbers dropped 95%. The only visitors now are the handful of tourists “stranded” in Cambodia and expatriates who remained present during the crisis. Communities like this, which depend on tourism to survive, will be among the hardest hit by the sudden decline in the number of tourists; tourism is literally “the hand that feeds them”.
It is often in difficult and difficult moments like this that we turn to those around us to find inspiration and positivity in order to navigate in uncertainty. It is comforting to hear about a trio of hotels that have partnered with the Cambodian Landmine Museum to create a community partnership called Hotels Holding Hands for the sole purpose of making a simple difference by providing basic nutrition. As of May 11, 2020, they had already prepared and given 7,800+ meals to those who needed it most. Jaya House River Park, Treeline Urban Resort and Mulberry Boutique Hotel have always worked hard to empower their staff and support the local community and this initiative has demonstrated their fantastic and continued commitment.
Besides the difficulties encountered by the tourism sector, the rice harvest season is still far away and the monsoon rains are fast approaching; the threat of malnutrition and water-borne diseases is very real in Siem Reap. It is for this reason that these 3 luxury hotels, normally used to taking care of their visitors, decided to go beyond to help. Currently, more than 450 meals a day are provided to the local community, as well as tons of rice also donated to various locations. People go out in droves; calmly, gently, gracefully lined up for their food parcel. All meals are ordered from local suppliers, which creates vital jobs along the way, and in accordance with their commitment to sustainability, food is distributed in natural biodegradable plastic and polystyrene packages.
But more is needed, their next goal is to double the current capacity to 1,000 meals a day, then hopefully more to help local people get through these difficult times, and that’s where we can all help. Join us to donate through the Hotels Joining Hands website. Share this article with your friends, family and colleagues if you think they could help you. We may be far from our friends in other parts of the world right now, but they will feel our concern and support from afar and when we can visit these magical places again, we can all start to rebuild the future together.
Thank you for your support and thanks to these wonderful hotels for their efforts to take care of the local communities of Siem Reap in their time of need. If you are planning a trip to Cambodia in the future, be sure to check them out.
Jaya House River Park
This hidden gem is quietly located along the Siem Reap River, in a green garden and surrounded by mature trees. A few minutes by tuk tuk from the city and perfectly located for exploring the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat, guests can expect a warm welcome, award-winning service and charming design inspiration Khmer art deco throughout the hotel.
Treeline Urban Resort
Treeline Urban Resort offers a unique home to guests visiting the city as the gateway to the temples of Angkor. Masterfully designed with the best Cambodian artists and designers, the organized experience includes spaces dedicated to a growing private collection of contemporary art. During your stay, enjoy their creative cuisine that supports your body and soul while connecting you to Khmer culture.
Mulberry Boutique Hotel
Located in the heart of Siem Reap, this eco-friendly hotel is a luxurious fusion of Khmer and modern design. In keeping with Khmer tradition, you can expect them to welcome you and your family with open arms. They are proud to follow this tradition and believe that good hospitality and personalized service come from the heart.
Paul Eyers is the founder of Vegan Food Quest. Vegan Food Quest has become a specialist in luxury vegan travel as it continues to find, eat, and write about the best vegan food in the world.