Hilton Worldwide steps up shark's fin ban

21 Feb 2014 by ReggieHo

Hilton Worldwide has extended its ban on shark’s fin, announcing that it will stop serving it in all its hotels across Asia Pacific starting April 1.

The hotel group initially removed shark’s fin dishes from hotel menus in Southeast Asia in September 2013, followed by Greater China in February 2014. The final step of the ban affects all properties in Japan, and no banquet orders for shark’s fin dishes have been accepted by Hilton properties in the country since December 1, 2013. However, as in Southeast Asia and Greater China, banquet orders made prior to the ban will be honoured accordingly.

The ban is in line with the “Living Sustainably” pillar of the company’s global corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose. “We made a decisive commitment to influence consumer demand and ensure operational compliance across our portfolio of hotels by taking a measured country-by-country approach. In placing a global ban on shark’s fin, we take action in support of the environmental conservation efforts worldwide, and progress our efforts in responsible business operations,” said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.

Elaine Tan, chief executive of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Singapore, notes that demand for shark’s fin in Asia Pacific has been identified as a major cause of decline in global shark populations, and applauds the hotel group’s move. “Hilton Worldwide’s ban on shark fin will go a long way in this region towards protecting valuable shark species, which are in turn crucial for maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems. Hilton Worldwide’s measured and step-wise approach towards responsible sourcing is a fine example of how businesses with strong leadership can, and should, take responsibility for their impact on the environment,” she said.

The hospitality company plans to ban shark’s fin in all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by its portfolio of 645 owned and managed hotels globally.

Hilton is one of several global hotel groups to stop serving shark’s fin. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts removed the controversial delicacy from menus across all its properties in Asia back in July 2012 (see here). The Shangri-La and The Peninsula groups, meanwhile, no longer serve shark’s fin dishes at any of their properties around the world.

Helen Dalley

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