The contribution of the hotel sector at the societal level has increased significantly during the past years in Mauritius. Hotels now constitute the leading sector in terms of CSR involvement. Hoteliers are fully aware that a pre-requisite for social sustainability is their integration in to the social environment through the creation and maintenance of social capital. The stable development and growth of the industry is heavily dependent on community involvement, trust, shared values, and building a collaborative partnership with civil society. In spite of this massive involvement, however, several communities in the vicinity of hotels still face difficult living conditions, being plagued by persistent social problems such as high unemployment rates, poor levels of educational achievement, rising criminality, heavy addiction to alcohol, and pockets of extreme poverty.
This work focuses on the need to reconcile the high level of commitment and dedication of the hotel sector to the harsh reality on the ground. It analyses how the present involvement of hotels can be reviewed so as to meet the needs of the local community and prompt positive changes in the community’s living. For the purpose of this study, CSR reports of the hotel sector have been reviewed. The views of the local community with regards to the present involvement of the hotel sector, and its potential to contribute towards an improvement of community living conditions in a sustainable manner, were also collected and analysed.
What emerges from this work is the need for a radically different outlook in order to tackle those persistent social issues successfully. The quest towards social sustainability implies re-visiting the organizational culture of those organisations so as to review their organisational philosophy and re-orient their approach with regards to CSR involvement.
|Keywords:||Social Sustainability, CSR, Local Community, Hotels, Mauritius|
Lecturer, Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius
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