Social and Environmental Responsibility Center

Sofia, Bulgaria

Social and Environmental Responsibility Center

Sofia, Bulgaria
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Matev D.,Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy BILSP | Matev D.,Social and Environmental Responsibility Center | Assenova M.,Social and Environmental Responsibility Center | Assenova M.,Sofia University
Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy | Year: 2012

The rapidly developing tourism industry in Bulgaria in the last 15 years, especially at the Black sea coast, contributed to an entire change in the accommodation sector. The growth was due to unseen construction of new accommodation facilities and entire renovation of the existing ones. At the same time the tourism industry suffers from many social problems: lack of staff, shortage of qualified staff especially in the high-star hotels, very high rate of turnover, flow of Bulgarian staff abroad. The bigger mobility of the employees is facilitated by the seasonal character of the industry, knowledge of foreign languages, difference in payments, as well as in the nature of work. Overall, this leads to lost training investments, reduces the incentives for employers to provide training, causes lower quality services in hotels, and finally impacts negatively the competitiveness of the hotel sector in Bulgaria and its sustainable development. The paper presents the practical experience and conclusions from a corporate social responsibility (CSR) assessment in 25 Bulgarian hotels regarding the social issues of the CSR: human resource management, occupational safety and health, human and labour rights, stakeholder and community involvement, customer satisfaction. The most important social problems identified are: deficiency in management skills, deficiency in organised (external) stakeholder dialogue, lack of qualified staff in certain professions, lack of investment in training, high turnover, low motivation, conflicts related to wage levels, overtime, etc. A set of key performance indicators related to social responsibility is suggested and analysed. The benchmarking process is discussed and exemplary benchmarks are quoted. The most frequently proposed measures by the hotel CSR teams to improve the social responsibility in the hotels are reviewed. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012.

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