At dusk of April 9, the Courtyard by Marriott Suwon in South Korea amuses passers-by with a giant smiley face beaming through the glass windows of the hotel. The cheerful icon easily brings a smile on the worn-out South Koreans walking by.
A similar smiley face was also seen at several Marriott venues – the Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort and The Westin Kuala Lumpur, to name a few. More than 270 Marriott hotels all across the Asia Pacific have pitched in to bring a slice of positivity in their area, spreading literal smiles across cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Jakarta and Saigon.
The ‘Light for Hope’ is Marriot’s campaign meant to cheer every onlooker and urge them to keep their hopes up during this global pandemic. Throughout April, select hotels commit to keeping their window lights open, displaying the smiley face as a beacon for positive vibes.
In addition to the ‘Light for Hope’ campaign, associates from hotels across Asia Pacific have been working in the background, dedicating more than 40,000 hours to serve their respective communities. Among their projects include food donations, providing hospital gear for the front line medical staff and securing shelter for the medics.
The Ritz-Carlton Pune, Courtyard by Marriott Pune Hinjewadi and JW Marriott Pune joined hands with Panchshil Foundation to aid daily wage earners by distributing more than 30,000 care packets over four weeks. Each pack contained food staples: 2 kilograms of rice, 750 grams of lentils, a litre of cooking oil, half-a-dozen eggs and a pack of cookies. For hygienic purposes, the pack also includes soap, reminding the receiver to wash their hands regularly.
Kindness ripples through the rest of India’s regions. Bangalore’s Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield pays tribute to the cleaning workforce at Bengaluru Mahanagar Palika, providing them with food prepared at the hotel. Breakfast is also provided for the nearby Whitefield Police Station. At Westin Pushkar Resort & Spa, owner Mr Pankaj Saboo serves 50 meals a day, giving more attention to needy locals and daily wage earners. The resort commits to producing free meals during the entire lockdown period as their way of assisting the local community in need during this pandemic. The message: Stay positive, stay home, stay safe. ◼
© This article was first published online in Apr 2020 – World Travel Magazine.