Shangri-La Hotels dig nature, especially pandas. That’s one reason the company began planting bamboo trees this month in China’s Sichuan province for a new giant panda center that will rescue ill or elderly wild pandas.
Eventually hotel guests at Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu will be able to visit the center, scheduled to open in mid-2013, to learn more about the animals.
"We wanted to find an innovative way to contribute to saving giant pandas. Through planting bamboo, the panda's food source, we are proud to make a lasting, sustainable, high-impact contribution," said Patricia Gallardo, director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability for Shangri-La International Hotel Management. The Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group operates 35 hotels in mainland China.
Shangri-La’s bamboo plantation is attached to the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Rescue & Disease Control Center, which is at the foot of Mt. Qing Cheng, about a 90-minute drive from Chengdu.
The Dujiangyan Center, which is to open to the public next year, can house up to 30 pandas. Guests of Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu will be able to visit the center and take educational tours, learn about the plight of the giant pandas and engage in activities such as preparing food for pandas in the panda feeding kitchen.
Shangri-La's Care for Panda Project is part of a company-wide nature program launched in 2009 to support biodiversity conservation and habitat protection at Shangri-La resorts. During the past few months, several of Shangri-La's city hotels in mainland China launched pilot conservation programs.
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts owns or manages 78 hotels under the Shangri-La, Kerry and Traders brands. The group has upcoming projects in mainland China, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and United Kingdom.