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Corporate Social Responsibility and the Tourism Industry in the Czech Republic

We have already mentioned IHG as a leading global hospitality group with the wide range of CSR activities. For example, Hotel Crown Plaza Prague and Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre are under an InterContinental Hotels Group trademark and a part of their corporate strategy has to be also CSR activities.

A similar situation applies to Thomas Cook Group PLC. Thomas Cook operates in the Czech Republic market under trademark Neckerman Czech Republic.

We can state that together with the system of product eco-labeling, a programme for a national designation of sustainable tourism is being prepared, which should contribute to the spreading and promotion of sustainable socio-economic and environmentally responsible business activities in tourism. Within the EU Eco-labeling scheme, „The Flower“

may also be awarded to services. Any tourism accommodation operator in the EU - from a large hotel chain to a small farmhouse has been able to apply for the EU Eco-label since 2003. The operators must meet strict minimum standards with regard to environmental performance and health standards. These should include the use of renewable energy sources, an overall reduction in energy and water consumption, measures to reduce waste, environmental policy setting and the provision of non- smoking areas. There are two categories of services where eco-labels are awarded: tourist accommodation services and camp site accommodation services. In the Czech Republic 7 hotels and pensions and 1 camp have been awarded the eco-label by the end of 2011.

The area of CSR in tourism industry in the Czech Republic has not been explored in detail. There is little research about CSR overall, but no one concerning with tourism industry. We can find very easy information about CSR in connection with Multinational Corporations but it is very difficult to find them in connection with SMEs. For this reason, we tried to map the situation in the tourism industry in the Czech Republic by questionnaire research and case studies regarding SMEs.

Research was carried out on the website server vyplnto.cz between May 25, 2012 and June, 13, 2012, The entire survey was anonymous.

Complete results of the research are publicly available at:

http://corporate-social-responsibil.vyplnto.cz/ and http://23932.vyplnto.cz/.

Purpose of the research was especially to answer the following questions:

Source: Own processing on questionnaire research

Source: Own processing on questionnaire research

Q1: Did companies encounter with the concept of CSR?

Q2: How important is it for companies to behave responsibly and ethically towards employees, the environment and the community in which it operates?

Q3: What concrete CSR activities do companies most often carry out?

Q4: What do companies motivate most to implement CSR in the Czech business environment?

To the questionnaire responded a total of 25 travel agencies and 72 accommodatiom operators. The main results of the survey are as follows:

Table 1 Question 1 and Question 2 – results

Operator Q1 Q2

Yes No very important slightly unim-

important important portant Travel Agencies 48,0 % 52,0 % 68 % 32 %

Accommodation operators

12,5 % 87,5 % 50 % 34,72 % 12,5 % 2,78 %

The results presented in Table no. 1 show that the most of the analyzed service providers have not encountered with the concept of CSR, but they carry out the CSR activities (Table no.2) in frame of their business (which corresponds to the above-mentioned statement). And also the most of them agree with the statement that it is important for companies to behave responsibly and ethically towards employees, the environment and the community in which it operates.

Table 2 Question 3 – results

Q3 Travel Agencies Accommodation operators

Staff training 81,82 % 33,33 %

Environmental policy 45,45 % 61,11 %

Sponsorship 45,45 % 50,00 %

Cooperation with NGOs

/ charity foundations 36.36 % 38,89 %

The most of Travel Agencies carries out staff training and the most of Accommodation operators in frame of CSR focuses on the environmental policy. These results correspond with the research carried out by BLF in the Czech Republic in 2008.

Source: Own processing on questionnaire research

Ethical-moral reasons motivate service providers most to implement CSR activities in the Czech business environment. Efforts to increase employee satisfaction motivate significantly Travel Agencies and efforts to increase customer loyalty motivate accommodation operators. These results also correspond with the research carried out by BLF.

Case studies were created by e-mail communication with owners / directors of the collective accommodation establishments (SMEs) and the example is given below.

Hotel Moravia – Lasákův Mlýn, Boskovice, http://www.


Hotel manager Mr.Jaromír Jurka sees the biggest obstacles in implementing CSR activities in the Czech Republic in the fact that CSR activities lead to increased business costs and the related view that tourism companies currently are mainly interested in the economic situation, everything else is secondary. We can say that the hotel manager confirms that SMEs do not know the concept of CSR, but intuitively use it. Although, in his words, he has not encountered with the concept of CSR, but in relation to the corporate strategy the hotel carried out specific CSR activities.

CSR of Hotel Moravia is reflected in many areas of life business - from staff training, environmental policy of the company to the regular meetings (brainstorming) to improve the organization and business strategy, and to improve interpersonal relationships in the workplace. It follows that the main focus of corporate strategy in this respect is particularly care for employees but also for customers, as delivered by Mr.Jurka.

Table 3 Question 4 – results

Q4 Travel Agencies Accommodation


Ethical-moral reasons 70 % 42,11 %

Efforts to increase employee satisfaction 60 % 36,84 % Efforts to attract and keep high-quality

emploees 50 % 36,84 %

Efforts to increase customer loyalty 50 % 42,11 % Keep pace with competitors and market

requirements 50 % 21,05 %

Efforts to improve relations with public administration

- 5,26 %

A part of company PR / Marketing 20 % 15,79 % Efforts to gain a comparative advantage 40 % 15,79 %