Immersing guests in the spirit of giving back to some of the world’s most exotic destinations, Anantara Hotels, Resort & Spas has launched the Dollars For Deeds campaign, which invites guests to donate just USD $1 a night during their stay to raise funds for a range of worthy causes.
For over a decade, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has been committed to creating luxury travel experiences that also benefit nature, people and culture. All Anantara properties participate in eco-friendly and community initiatives, thereby enhancing the social and environmental surroundings of each Anantara retreat.
Dollars for Deeds launched in January 2014 with all of Anantara’s Thailand hideaways participating, soon to be joined by worldwide resorts across Asia, the Maldives, Middle East and Africa. By choosing to participate, Anantara guests not only enjoy a luxurious stay, but leave knowing that they have made a positive difference to the local environment and community.
Beginning with Thailand, where Anantara was born, the funds raised will be donated to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), as well as the Mai Khao Turtle Foundation, while part of the funds will also be put back into the community as part of the 365 Days of Good Deeds campaign, which includes scholarships for local school children.
The GTAEF was set up in 2006 to rescue Thailand’s street elephants, and has since been diversified to include welfare projects that incorporate broader philanthropic endeavours with unprecedented success. The foundation is overseen by John Roberts, Director of Elephants at Anantara Golden Triangle’s onsite Elephant Camp. Under Roberts’ helm, more than 30 elephants have been rescued from Thailand’s city streets, along with their entire mahout family, who now live in the camp’s traditional mahout village and benefit from ongoing employment, housing, English lessons, medical insurance, schooling for their children, and a silk worm business which provides the wives with 100% of the profits made from the sales of their wares at the resort boutique.
From the lush jungles of northern Thailand to the renowned island of Phuket, the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation raises funds and awareness for the critically endangered giant leatherback turtles which nest on Mai Khao Beach, along Phuket’s serene northwest coast. This project is especially pertinent to guests staying at the luxurious all-pool villa oasis Anantara Phuket Villas, which edges beautiful Mai Khao Beach. Dollars for Deeds funds go towards protecting the sea turtles who breed here from November to February, and whose numbers have been severely depleting over the last 20 years.
Beach patrols at night protect the turtles while nesting, and records are kept of the number of eggs laid. The eggs are taken to the foundation’s hatchery so that when the baby turtles hatch, they are protected from the elements of nature and human exploitation, to be released in a special ceremony during Thailand’s New Year Songkran festival in April. The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation’s activities are supported by local resorts, schools, community residents and organisations, with conservation efforts successfully protecting Mai Khao beach and its reef, as well as going towards the Turtle Museum and ecological education programmes.