Culture & Heritage

The Challenge

People travel more frequently and further afield than ever before. Our cities are increasingly filled with diverse cultures, drawn together from all over the planet, pursing dreams of a new or better life. The age of internet and technology has brought the international community closer together, and cultural-fusion influences everything from food, music, fashion, interior décor, architecture, film, television and even the way we speak and communicate amongst ourselves.

Whilst there are many significant advantages to this, it can be easy to overlook our cultural identities and long-serving traditions. For many, experiencing different cultures and unique heritages is a large part of why we travel in the first place. There are also many whose livelihoods still depend on artisanal craft and trade, using ancient techniques passed down through the generations.

The dependence on natural heritage by tourism creates the need for those working in the industry to act as stewards, with a responsibility to safeguard and preserve traditions, in addition to supporting the resilience of communities being impacted.

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Our Approach

Supporting long term societal prosperity is central to Banyan Tree’s ability to create value for communities. Protecting and promoting cultural heritage is an important part of Banyan Tree’s ethos of creating a Sense of Place at each of its properties. Guests and associates are encouraged to participate and celebrate local culture. Banyan Tree’s three wellness and retail segments embody sustainability as a core pillar in their business strategies to uphold cultural heritage where ever we operate.

This is achieved by empowering local communities through job creation, education, supporting artisanal cooperatives, community impact initiatives, humanitarian relief and connecting travelers to local culture and heritage.

These are quintessential extensions of Banyan Tree – inculcating wellness and reinterpreting heritage textiles into products for a sustainable lifestyle:

Our Goals

Preserve local culture through activity and event participation. Our efforts are dynamic across the group, with context specific initiatives targeting issues identified by host communities to empower and develop long term sustainability and resilience.

Look to maximise traditonas and number of artisans supportes

show sense of place + showcase local treadtions through guest expereince and active participation. Each property should organise one CSR acitivity each to showcase local culture.

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Our Progress

In 2018 – 9,741 people participated in traditional and cultural tours and classes, or cultural events including Loy Krathong, Alms giving, Sart Duen Sib festival.

Our Gallery had 39 active collaborations with communities, bringing our total number of communities supported to date up to 136. MATTER actively supported 13 community collaborations and 6 design collaborations, keeping 7 different textile traditions alive. The total number of artisan employment days in 2018 equated to 3,985.

Humanitarian Relief and ResilienceNatural calamities and global crises require swift coordinated relief. It’s important that local and global communities live in safety and are resilient and prepared. We strive to reduce social and economic impact by engaging with strategic partners, and leveraging our strengths and resources in recovery efforts to increase social resilience.

In 2018, associates at our properties helped raised funds to purchase basic necessities to support victims in Indonesia and Mexico. This included basic items such as school kits, sarongs, tents, food and toilets – which were provided for Palu and Donggala Tsunami victims, Indonesia; and drinking water, clothes and supplies provided to flood victims near Mayakoba, Mexico.

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