Hilton bans shark fins at all Asian hotels

TD Guest Writer

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Hilton has confirmed it will stop serving shark fins at all its hotels in the Asia Pacific region.

Effective 1 April 2014, the hotel company will impose a complete ban on the sale of shark fin dishes at the F&B outlets in all 96 Hilton-owned and -managed properties in Asia Pacific, including almost 50 in China.

The blanket ban marks a culmination of the Hilton’s recent strategy to phase out shark fin sales. This started in December 2012 when the company first removed shark fin dishes from the restaurants of its managed properties in China and Southeast Asia, although it still provided it on request for banquets.

Shark fin soup is a popular dish at Asian banquets
Shark fin soup is a popular dish at Asian banquets

It then imposed a complete ban, including banquets, in Southeast Asia on 1 September 2013, and extended it to Greater China on 1 February 2014.

The final step of the ban takes effect in Japan on 1 April 2014, when shark fin dishes will no longer be served at any F&B facility operated by a Hilton property anywhere in the Asia Pacific region.

“We made a decisive commitment to influence consumer demand and ensure operational compliance across our portfolio of hotels by taking a measured country-by-country approach. In placing a global ban on shark fin, we take action in support of environmental conservation efforts worldwide, and progress our efforts in responsible business operations,” said Martin Rinck, Hilton’s president for Asia Pacific.

Hilton joins other hotel groups including Shangri-La and Peninsula in removing shark fins from its menus. The controversial dishes were also banned at official Chinese government banquets in December 2013, as part of a crackdown on corruption and lavish spending.

Demand for shark fins in the Asia Pacific region, and China especially, has been identified as a major cause of decline in global shark populations.

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