By The Nation
In 2012, the group launched a scholarship-based training scheme for underprivileged Bhutanese, offering them the opportunity to travel to Thailand and receive on-the-job training at the group’s flagship resorts, Aleenta Hua Hin in Pranburi and Aleenta Phuket in Phang Nga.
Since the programme started, the resorts have hosted and trained 12 individuals, arming them with the skills and experience necessary to find work in the hospitality industry back home, or even to start their own tourism-related business.
In a letter recently delivered to the group’s founder and managing director, Anchalika Kijkanakorn, His Majesty King Jigme Khesar of the Kingdom of Bhutan expressed his appreciation for the support provided to Bhutanese youth.
“I was immensely pleased to learn that due to your wholehearted support and understanding, numerous Bhutanese have been able to change their lives and achieve success,” wrote the King of Bhutan. “I feel fortunate to share such a heartfelt connection with the people of Thailand and your generosity and benevolence continues to move me.”
In Thailand, Akaryn Hotel Group’s CSR projects include marine conservation, training and support for local communities. Through the group’s Pure Blue Foundation, which was founded in 2010 to help protect fragile marine eco-systems, the company continually works to raise awareness and funds for marine conservation projects around Southeast Asia. Since its inception, the foundation has provided support and funds to various projects around the country and the group’s hotels and resorts regularly organize events and fundraisers.
While some programmes run across the entire collection of hotels and resorts, individual properties also proactively help their own communities through activities such as supporting local schools, promoting the work of local artists and raising funds for environmental actions. The all-suite Akyra Manor Chiang Mai, located in the northern Thai city’s trendy Nimmanhaemin neighbourhood, is hosting an art exhibition through April showcasing the work of local photographer, Vachira Thomas, and two jewellery makers, Hongsara and Angkan, with sales revenue to be shared between the artists and the Pure Blue Foundation.
In Bangkok, the Akyra Thonglor Hotel recently launched its CSR programme with a special charity day at the Bangkhae Foundation on November 2. The hotel hosted a lunch for 42 senior folk at the foundation’s care facility, where staff from Akyra Thonglor Bangkok chatted to the elderly guests and organised a singalong for added entertainment.
Meanwhile during the festive season, Aleenta Hua Hin will be hosting a charming Christmas carol performance by local children this year to raise funds for a local orphanage. A few days later, Aleenta Phuket and Akyra Beach Club Phuket are planning a joint charity event to include a special gala dinner scheduled for December 29 by beautiful Natai beach. The event will be themed a “Pure Blue Fundraiser” and all proceeds will go to the foundation. Guests will have the chance to adopt a turtle, bid for custom jewellery and vouchers from Akaryn Hotels and Resorts while enjoying delicious food.
“Akaryn Hotel Group was founded with a holistic philosophy and through ongoing efforts we strive to show unwavering encouragement and concrete support for the causes we believe in – whether that means raising funds for Pure Blue Foundation or finding new ways to provide opportunities and financial support for students in need,” says Anchalika.
This ongoing dedication to CSR has earned Akaryn Hotel Group a number of honours over the years, including the Thailand Government Responsible Tourism Award and personal recognition for Anchalika who was named one of the Top 50 Philanthropists by Forbes Asia in 2015. More recently, Akyra Manor Chiang Mai received the “Love of Local” award from Small Luxury Hotels of The World for giving back to the community by helping to refurbish a local school, sourcing local produce for top-quality dishes served at Italics restaurant, and also for encouraging guests to interact with local causes through activities such as the hotel’s special Elephant Day Care Package.
For more information, visit www.AkarynHotelGroup.com. Find out more on the Pure Blue Foundation, at www.PureBlueFoundation.com.