Everland Boutique Hotel is a small cheerful hotel with a special touch, located in the centre of Siem Reap. The hotel initially was established in 2018 with a strong interest in the sustainable development of tourism and several years of experience with living and working in Cambodia, who wanted to use tourism as a tool to create positive change for the local population .
The idea behind Everland Boutique Hotel was to combine a business opportunity with a strong focus on helping the local community through various means, especially by contribution to long-term economic development. Everland Boutique Hotel is set up a social enterprise that applies market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose, where parts of the surplus are reinvested back into the local community. Gender equality is fundamental to the hotel's organization and females hold more than half of the managerial and supervisory positions. We actively support and encourage the interaction of guests and the neighbouring environment, and by implementing this approach, we would like to create a win-win-win situation for all parties involved, where both the tourists, the local environment and the business itself will benefit.
Cambodia has a recent history of war and political instability, and a genocide that killed over 20% of the population; including most of the educated citizens of the country. Peace finally returned to the country in 1998. Cambodia has experienced rapid development and economic growth, however, the country is still heavily affected by its recent history. The economic benefits are unevenly distributed and a large part of the population still suffers from poverty, corruption, poor health care and education systems and lack of opportunities. According to a NGO handbook by ConCERT, there are more than 3000 NGO’s in Cambodia. With little state funding, most organisations have to look elsewhere for resources and many are competing for the same pot of money. Some NGO’s fail because they haven’t done enough research, or have failed to identify a genuine need that has not yet been addressed, or are more concerned about meeting the needs of the donor rather than addressing the real issues they are trying to deal with. Others have failed because they have forgotten to establish ways to make the project self-sustainable, but are reliant on a constant flow of funding, which in turn has caused many projects to close down and consequently created a worse situation the initial circumstances. Despite millions of tourists visiting Angkor every year, Siem Reap remains one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia, and Orphanage Tourism and NGO scams has become a problem.
We are taking a different approach! Everland Boutique Hotel Educational Development Program believes that essential factors in the development process is to facilitate economic growth, create secure workplaces, provide education on a higher level and to encourage the development of socially responsible leaders to bring the country forward. We believe that in the long run, this proactive approach will prevent many other problems to occur. Everland Boutique Hotel Educational Development Program is operated through Everland Boutique Hotel, which will ensure the project to be financially self-sustainable. Everland Boutique Hotel is a social mission driven organization that applies market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose, where parts of the surplus are reinvested into the local community.
Through Everland Boutique Hotel Educational Development Program the local employees were made partners and majority owners of the business, in an initiative to empower through ownership. The share ownership was determined based on seniority and responsibilities in the hotel. By being shareowners, the employees were able to take part in the decision-making process and share any profits made. It also enabled the employees to take part in supporting the surrounding community through various activities.
As the 10 year project was completed, the local team wanted to continue to provide guests with unique travel experiences in beautiful Cambodia. They therefore joined forces with local Entrepreneur, Mr Meng Hour, and established Everland Boutique Hotel in a brand new property only a short walk away from the original Everland Boutique Hotel. We look forward to welcome old and new guests, and hope you will like our new hotel as much as we do.
In Everland Boutique Hotel we are committed to minimize our negative impacts on the environment and communities, and focus on sustainability and capacity building in people. By having this approach we hope to create a win-win-win situation where both our customers, the local community and the business itself will benefit. Below you can read about Responsible Tourism practices we have implemented in our operation.
We believe that building capacity in people starts with the individual. Everland Boutique Hotel only employs local staff and provides good working conditions and onsite training and development for them. All management, department heads and staff are locals, and sessions are held to develop and staff them in problem solving, communication and management skills. Several staff has participated in Everland Boutique Hotel's Employee Exchange program where they have been able to spend one year working in Quality Hotel Expo - a 336 bedroom business hotel in Norway.
We believe education is particularly important in development and empowerment of the locals, and we have therefore initiated Everland Boutique Hotel Higher Education Program. We provide flexible part time or full time work in Everland Boutique Hotel during the education if the student would like this opportunity. Everland Boutique Hotel Higher Education Program have so far helped 9 students to complete a Bachelors Degree and 3 students to complete a Master degree.
In collaboration with local NGO’s, Everland Boutique Hotel is proud to provide trainee positions for their Young Adult Preparation Programs. The young adults are from 16,5 -21 years of age and come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and are trained in different departments according to their interest, ability, and future plans. The young adults work 3-5 hours per day, 3-5 days per week, depending on their age and their school schedule. The trainees are paid a per-hour salary based on a normal fulltime salary for their respective positions. The NGO’s support the trainees with scholarships, accommodation and guiding, while Everland Boutique Hotel provide work training and follow up.
The weekly $1 night is set up as a training night, where we in addition to training Everland Boutique Hotel’s own staff and trainees, locals who need work experience to be able to find jobs in the hospitality are sometimes taken in for training. As an example, one trainee has been able to obtain a full time job in one of the top hotels in Siem Reap.
Most of our staff comes from disadvantaged backgrounds, and some have unfortunately never been able to attend school. For those who have not attended primary school and can not read and write the local language Khmer. According to what is needed at the moment the hotel provide Khmer literacy classes and English lessons in English. Previously we have also offered Norwegian lessons, and engaged a Japanese teacher .
Everland Boutique Hotel conducts yearly staff training trips to other provinces in Cambodia for the local staff to learn more about their own country and what it has to offer. This is a combined reward, team building and hands on learning experience about how it is to be a tourist. Most Khmers can usually not afford to travel and experience this on their own expense, so this has been a first-time experience for many staff. Trips have been made to Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kep, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Ratanakiri, and even across to Thailand.
All our staff are insured on their lives with personal accident insurance, and are members of National Social Security Fund.
Everland Boutique Hotel also try to encourage guests to stay longer in the country, visit destinations outside the main tourist tracks and spend more money in the country and benefit a larger area. For this purpose we have compiled our own guide about Siem Reap and Cambodia, including information about responsible tourism practices and child-safe travelers tips.
Everland Boutique Hotel 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.
On Everland Boutique Hotel Website, in our rooms and on the walls in our common area we display information about organizations we endorse, and try our best to help them with marketing, fundraising and creating awareness. Donation boxes are available in the lobby. In our shop we also sell products for a range of Fair Trade Organizations and NGO’s.
Tourism is in general not a very environmentally friendly industry, but Everland Boutique Hotel has taken action to reduce its impact on the environment wherever possible without reducing the customer’s satisfaction. Engagements have been made in the areas of electricity usage (we have converted environmentally friendly light bulbs, do not use air-condition in common areas, have installed key-card switches in the guest rooms) water usage (we display information in guestrooms that water resources are scarce, and give all guests the option to reuse towels and bed-linen), paper usage (we do our best to reduce prints and reuse printed paper as scratch paper). We recycle bottles, cans and cardboard, and our juice cartons are made into wallets. In addition to this our cooking oil is recycled and given to Angkor Children’s Hospital to be used for Bio diesel for their generator, and our food waste is given to local pig farmers.