Hotel group Hilton on Wednesday announced an initial investment of USD$1 million to drive sustainable travel and tourism in Africa. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Hotel group Hilton on Wednesday announced an initial investment of USD$1 million to drive sustainable travel and tourism in Africa. 

It said it would focus on "Big Five" areas including investing in training and apprenticeship programs to build a strong talent pipeline and tackle identified challenges for youth and expanding partnerships and creating new alliances to help achieve its goal to reduce its water consumption by 50 percent and activate 20 context-based water projects in at-risk communities by 2030.

Hilton also said it would provide training and auditing to mitigate against human trafficking, alongside engagement with local NGOs to address social challenges in local communities and would create partnerships to build local entrepreneurs’ capacity to deliver high quality and authentic goods and services, and promote responsible wildlife-based tourism.

Its announcement follows the recent launch of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half across the globe.

“Hilton is committed to creating a positive social and environmental impact in every community where we operate," President and CEO Chris Nassetta said at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Nairobi.

"Africa is an incredibly diverse continent, with equally diverse challenges and opportunities -- and as we continue to grow in the region, we are focused on doing so in a way that promotes sustainable travel and tourism."

"Today we are pleased to take our efforts to the next level with an initial commitment of $1 million, which will allow us to invest in and scale up initiatives that build skills among young people, mitigate risks in human trafficking, engage local entrepreneurs across our supply chain, improve water efficiencies and promote responsible wildlife-based tourism.”

Hilton said its Big Five would build upon an existing foundation of partnerships and initiatives to deepen the company’s impact and inspire positive social and environmental change across its value chain.

Its existing 41 operating hotels in Africa have carried out 460 volunteering projects since 2012 to support their communities and manage their environmental impact. Some examples include:

Hilton has been operating continuously in Africa since 1959.

With 53 properties in its development pipeline, the group expects to double its portfolio of hotels on the continent during the next five years, including entering new markets such as Botswana, Ghana, Swaziland, Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda.

- African News Agency (ANA)