From choosing local goods over packaged imports to carrying reusable water bottles and bags, there are many ways in which we all can contribute to make our holidays greener and – ultimately – help create better places to live in, and better places to visit.
For the past ten years, the team at Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, have been welcoming guests from all over the world. Whether it’s staying guests, local project partners or the wonderful members of staff, people have always been at the heart of Soria Moria’s business model.
My first trip to Cambodia was in 2007 when I came to run a guesthouse a bit outside the charming town of Siem Reap. It was a small guesthouse with a strong focus on Responsible Tourism and I was intrigued by the concept. The management and staff at the guesthouse worked closely with local community projects and hired local staff, drivers and guides. The staff all received plenty of training, had good working conditions, fair salaries and flexible working hours to enable them to continue their education – something of which was organised and sponsored by the guesthouse.
Showcasing Khmer cooking delights is hard, but I’ll try…
First off, I would say Fish Amok served in banana leaves is the most traditional and popular dish to be found throughout the country. It’s an easy dish to make providing you have the right ingredients: white fish (I don’t think it really matters which one), fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, coconut milk, lemon grass, nhor leaves, galangal, turmeric, garlic, shallots and, of course, chillies! Although not really a spicy dish, it’s a creamy mix which mixed altogether and steamed tastes fantastic.
As the first employee-owned hotel in Cambodia, the team at Soria Moria has won many prestigious accolades and we are proud to work to work with the local management and staff in continuously trying to improve the ‘Soria Moria Experience’ for guests, staff and local community alike.
The staff have an interesting story to tell too, and if you have the time during your stay they are more than happy to share it with you!
Here’s an introduction to some of the staff you might meet during your stay.
WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is a global day of action, encouraging to help drive change by educating more responsible behaviour with the travel and tourism industry and travelling public.
In my experience, many hoteliers do it simply because they want to do it, and being a responsible hotelier also seems to make good business sense. If people are passionate about something, then it shows in everything they do and makes for an all round great stay – and you can even make a positive difference to the local communities where you travel too.
Have you ever wondered where your friendly receptionist learnt how to beam that warm Cambodian smile? How the chatty barman learnt to speak impeccable English or why your fresh bread tastes so good? It’s not by coincidence…