What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
There are no policy or restrictions with respect to price setting and in practise there are no real standard for qualifying for star ratings. It’s easy to market a so-called 4-star hotel for guesthouse prices. Taxation authorities allows room for negotiation. Being a business striving to operate with good business practices and employee protections it’s is hard to compete with hotels that runs the business with other practices (exploitation of cheap labour). Many agents are pushing their suppliers to have responsible practices which is good - however with limited experience/research, places are supporting projects set up to make money from well-intended tourists. Children are taken from their families to live in “orphanages”, “Orphanage Tourism” and NGO-scams have become a new problem.
Tell us about your partnerships
In term of receiving customers we work with several local inbound and international agents, as well as international booking agents. We also have special rates for NGO's whic is a large part of our customer market.
Soria Moria is selective when choosing suppliers and partners. Wherever possible we purchase local goods and use local suppliers and transportation/guides, and wherever possible we try to select organizations that will have a direct impact on improving people’s life chances. This includes food products, furniture’s, decorations, linen, uniforms, etc.
Soria Moria is a supporting member of ConCERT.
Soria Moria’s staff are trained and certified by Childsafe, and we keep information in all rooms, on our website and our lobby.
In collaboration with 3 local NGO’s; Anjali House, Sangkheum Center for Children and NEDO, Soria Moria is proud to provide trainee positions for their Young Adult Preparation Programs.
Our cooking oil is recycled and given to Angkor Children’s Hospital to be used for Biodiesel for their generator, and our food waste is given to local pig farmers.
The Young Adults from The Sangkheum Center for Children comes to perform traditional APSARA dance in the hotel’s restaurant every Friday. The performance is free of charge, but we encourage donations to the Sangkheum center.
In our Boutique Shop on the ground floor we sell products from various organizations and Fair Trade projects we endorse, such as This Life Cambodia, Love Cards, Ibis Rice, Friends International, Sala Bai, KeoK’jey, PEPY Ride, Anjali House, The Silk Lab, Cambodia Nits & Cambodian Red Cross. Great souvenirs or gifts to bring home and the money will be spent with a good conscious.
Explain your selections
Soria Moria Educational Development Program is operated through Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, which will ensure the project to be financially self-sustainable.
The initial start up cost for the hotel was possible with a low interest private loan.
the loan is paid back through the operation of the business.
The handover of 51% of the shares to the local employee was given as a donation.
How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?
As described above in the Partnership section, we have good collaboration with several local organization, both in terms of marketing and support, creating advocacy and awareness, display and sales of their section. This is an important factor to develop young socially responsible leaders, to engage travellers, and also to create a win-win-win situation where both the local community, the travelers and the business can benefit - It aids and creates goodwill in the society, low turnover and quality employees and happy customers who receive a good impression of the host country.
We always strive to improve, both in terms of the business operation, and profitability of the business as can be seen in our budgets, and in terms of our employee development programs and community outreach program. For this purpose we have set up an advisory board of Industry specialist who can help us evaluate and advise our program from a more objective perspective.
We encourage our customers as well as our partners to engange in our projects.