Giving Bag partners with brands like Alila Hotels and Resorts to offer travelers a sustainable option for reducing waste and helping local communities.

by | May 30, 2024 | Travel and Tourism


Travel tends to get a bad rap for creating unnecessary waste that leaves destinations a little worse for the wear. In recent years the problem has spurred a push for sustainability practices that allow travelers to leave a minimal carbon footprint and help to protect the world’s treasured destinations.

The hospitality industry has therefore been tasked with finding creative solutions and has responded in kind with programs like Giving Bag, an eco-conscious recycling and donation solution that works with hotels around the globe to avoid sending travelers’ left behind and unwanted items to landfills.

Participating properties provide guests with a designated bag for items they don’t want or can’t carry home. Staff then collect the bags, and the items are donated to a local charity so they can be rehomed instead of being discarded into the trash. Clothing, shoes, books, lifestyle products, even single-use hotel products can be rehomed, creating a more cohesive sustainable travel experience. Even the bags themselves are reused so future guests can make donations of their own.

The program helps on two fronts – reducing waste and providing much-needed items for those who can’t afford them. Giving Bag reports that 25% of items left behind in hotel rooms are not forgotten but left on purpose. Whether left because they’re no longer wanted or because the owner doesn’t have room to carry them, these items typically end up in the lost and found. Some hotels either donate or allow staff to take these items home after they go unclaimed for a designated time, but often they simply wind up in the trash. Giving Bag gives guests a chance to be more conscientious about those unwanted items and bring value to the communities they visit.

Charitable organizations that receive the donations are identified by their potential to provide maximum impact for the local community. Operating in 15 countries around the world, Giving Bag donates items collected to organizations like homeless and women’s shelters, orphanages and emergency relief organizations.

Giving Bag works with more than 350 independent and branded hotels around the world and the number is growing. On May 29th the organization announced a new partnership with Alila Hotels and Resorts, a brand that has been part of the Hyatt family since 2018. Sanskrit for “Surprise,” Alila properties blend innovation with luxury while working to achieve a level of sustainability worthy of the EarthCheck operating standards they employ.

“We are proud to deepen our relationship with Hyatt in expanding the adoption of Giving Bag to Alila brand hotels around the world,” said Giving Bag Co-Founder and CEO Quinn Cox. “The passion and creativity of Alila helps further reinforce the meaningful positive impact it can have on local communities, as well as our environment, by connecting gently used items with those in need rather than unnecessarily going to a landfill.”

Photo Courtesy of Alila Seminyak (Indonesia)

The partnership with Alila adds more than a dozen properties throughout Asia and the Middle East to Giving Bag’s portfolio. Participating Alila properties are located in Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Maldives, India and Oman.

If past performance of participating hotels is an indication, the partnership between Giving Bag and Alila Hotels will be a huge success. The Omnia Mountain Lodge, a Giving Bag partner hotel in Zermatt, Switzerland, donated a full box after just one week of working with the organization and Le Bristol, a member hotel in Paris, has so far prevented 545 pounds of waste from entering a landfill.

Together with Alila, Giving Bag helps create a connection between travel and the local communities that tourists visit, one that goes far beyond exploring the local attractions.