Why I Won’t Be Staying In Any Hilton Hotels

I am making a conscious effort during this round the world marathon to not stay in any Hilton hotels, any Hyatts, Best Westerns, Sheratons or any of the other international chain hotels.  I’m making an effort to support LOCAL businesses throughout my journey.  Just because I have the money to enjoy the luxury of an international chain hotel, restaurant or spa, I want to support the people in each community and not some foreign owners who take more out of the community than they put in. 
Take Siem Reap in Cambodia for example.   It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in southeast Asia…. entertaining thousands of visitors  and taking in well over half a BILLION dollars each year… and yet Siem Reap is one of the poorest provinces in the poverty stricken country.  Why?  Probably because most of those tourists book their week in Siem Reap through a foreign travel agency, booking accommodation in international chains, eating in foreign owned restaurants, and paying their admission to the Angkor Wat temples… which ends up in the coffers of the government and a big oil company… not the residents of  Siem Reap.   I have booked my accommodation at Ei8ht Rooms Hotel… locally owned and operated.  I also plan to make every effort to support all local businesses that are locally owned and operated or that support community programs.  Like the Butterflies Garden restaurant.  Each day, the restaurant buys butterflies captured by local children and releases them in the restaurant for the patrons.  While I don’t necessarily agree with children spending the day in the forest catching butterflies over going to school, when faced with a starving family, I understand that everyone has to pitch in to keep the family alive.  With more than 80 percent of Siem Reap families living below the poverty line, it’s important that travellers pay attention to where they are spending their cash.   Besides, when I travel I want to meet the people, experience the culture, sample the food and basically immerse myself in each community rather than staying in a western owned hotel, eating western food, and surrounding myself with other travelers.

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3 Responses to “Why I Won’t Be Staying In Any Hilton Hotels”

  1. Lindsay
    October 17 at 5:30 pm #

    I completely agree with your approach. Asking for A/C while we are in India. THAT IS IT! 🙂

  2. Heather
    October 18 at 2:18 pm #

    http://www.ecolepauldubrule.org/html/index.php

    We tried out this place at the end of our stay in Siem Reap. it’s a luxury hotel and boasts excellent food and fine dining for about what you’d pay at a good guesthouse. The catch is that it’s actually a school that trains locals for jobs in the hotel and service industry. A great experience!

  3. Hedy
    October 18 at 9:09 pm #

    Good call – that’s the way to do it. If you keep listing the good, clean and affordable places you stay throughout your journey, I bet you’ll do a lot for these local owners.

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