Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series highlighting cause marketing campaigns from around the world called ‘Global Voices’. We hope our team of international contributors will shed insights into cause marketing in their home country and inspire you to expand your own purpose-driven horizons.
In Brazil, May 18 is the National Day to Combat Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, established in 2014 to draw the attention of citizens to tackle this serious problem. In 2014, 24,575 allegations of sexual violence against children and adolescents were recorded in Brazil. Sex tourism in the country contributes to that number, especially in places that are venues for major events or touristic hot spots, where children and adolescents are more vulnerable to this kind of crime.
To combat this violence the non-profit organization Childhood Brazil (Instituto WCF-Brasil – World Childhood Foundation) and the company Atlantica Hotels (Atlantic Hotels Network) have partnered to create a comprehensive, cause-related marketing campaign. Since 2005, Atlantica Hotels have sold products and services and involved employees to benefit the NGO and promote the rights of children and adolescents.
Investing in the potential of the partnership
The Atlantic Hotels is the largest independent, multi-brand hotel managing company in South America, with over 80 hotels in Brazil and over 4,000 employees. In more than 13,000 rooms, the network hosts 2.2 million guests a year, and has partnerships with commercial offices on five continents and is the largest business and tour operators in Brazil. The company operates also through alliances with some groups, including the Carlson Companies (the brands Radisson, Park Suites and Park Inn by Radisson), an important supporter of Childhood in the United States.
Inspired by the partnership of Carlson, Paul Sistare, president and CEO of Atlantica Hotels, approached Childhood Brazil with a proposal to mobilize resources for the cause in their Brazilian hotels. However, the NGO went further and recognized the company as a potential partner for the deployment of a larger plan, capable of generating mutual benefits to the community. The partners agreed to implement the Code of Conduct for Tourism against sexual exploitation of children and adolescents within the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program for Sustainable Tourism.
After intense training, all 80 hotels of the network implemented the Code of Conduct, publicly assuming the commitment to child protection, focusing on the prevention of sexual exploitation, which is also reflected in employment contracts and in the selection of suppliers and partners.
Success in conduct and fund raising for the cause
Besides involvement of all employees of the hotel network with the cause, the partnership has mobilized important resources for Childhood Brazil. In ten years, over R$4.3 million (about $1.3mm USD) were raised, helping ensure continuity of the NGO’s initiatives in Brazil. The funds originate from various actions such as piggy banks at the reception desk, rounding up of accounts, “Do Good” products in the fridge and asking guests to donate USD $1 at check out. Hotels themselves host auctions, lunches or dinners, walks and bike rides, etc. In 2014 alone, this mix of actions mobilized R $565,000 for the projects and programs of Childhood Brazil.
The fundraising is based on annual targets and strong involvement of the employees of various hotels in the chain. Another success factor of the partnership is the ongoing involvement of the Atlantica president, a factor that remains essential to mobilize all areas and levels to embrace the cause.
Since the implementation of the partnership, Atlantica Hotels propagates the cause through all of its tools and communication channels involving at least two annual cause-related campaigns. Moreover, Atlantica Hotels continues to position itself in favor of children and adolescent rights through the adherence to agreements such as The Code.
The partners envision a future with far more results. In addition to remaining the leader in hotel management, the Atlantica also seeks to be a benchmark in social responsibility in the hotel sector, supporting significant changes for children in Brazil. Childhood Brazil appreciates and supports these efforts, confident that it will inspire other Hotel networks for Sustainable Tourism.