Hilton is to spend an initial $1 million to drive sustainable travel and tourism in Africa.

The planned investment follows the recent launch of the hotel group’s ‘Travel with Purpose 2030′ goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half across the globe.

The company is to focus on five key areas in Africa:
• Youth opportunity: investing in training and apprenticeships to build a strong talent pipeline and tackle identified challenges for youth, including underemployment
• Water stewardship: the expansion of existing partnerships and the creation of new alliances to help Hilton achieve its goal to reduce its water consumption by 50% and activate 20 water projects in at-risk communities by 2030
• Anti-human trafficking: providing training and auditing to mitigate against human trafficking, alongside engagement with local NGOs to address the social challenges in local communities
• Local sourcing: the creation of partnerships to build local entrepreneurs’ capacity to deliver high quality and authentic goods and services, and integrate them into Hilton’s supply chain
• Protecting wildlife: the promotion of responsible wildlife-based tourism

Hilton president and CEO Chris Nassetta, speaking at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum in Nairobi, said: “Africa is an incredibly diverse continent, with equally diverse challenges and opportunities – and as we continue to grow in the region, we are focused on doing so in a way that promotes sustainable travel and tourism.

“Today we are pleased to take our efforts to the next level with an initial commitment of $1 million, which will allow us to invest in and scale up initiatives that build skills among young people, mitigate risks in human trafficking, engage local entrepreneurs across our supply chain, improve water efficiencies and promote responsible wildlife-based tourism.”

Hilton’s 41 hotels in Africa have carried out 460 volunteering projects since 2012 to support their communities and manage their environmental impact.

The company has 53 properties in its development pipeline and expects to double its portfolio of hotels on the continent in the next five years, including entering new markets such as Botswana, Ghana, Swaziland, Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda.