E-Land continues to redefine the meaning of hospitality

Posted on Oct 22 2021

Hospitality does not only happen within the walls of E Land’s three hotel properties—Kensington Hotel in San Roque, Pacific Island Club Saipan in San Antonio, and Coral Ocean Point golf resort in Koblerville. They also extend to the community and that includes caring for the environment and a strict adherence to the tenets of ethics.

According to Corporate Social Responsibility manager Lindsay Ahn, ever since E-Land began business back in 1980 as a small garment store in Korea, the founding members of the company had a clear mission and vision “to be the light and salt of the world.”

“For 41 years, we have committed to be a good neighbor in the community and to be cognizant of its needs. …Since we are conducting business outside of Korea, our organization’s culture boils down to being a part of the community we are in,” she said.

On Saipan itself, E-Land has been here for about a decade now. “We came as an investor and we are grateful that the Saipan community welcomed and embraced us. …Because of this, we like to continue to give back and grow with the whole community,” she added.

Over the years, E Land’s commitment to social responsibility is closely tied to their management philosophy of sharing, growth, and willingness to serve. “In Korea, our main office operates a foundation called the E-Land Foundation. They are responsible for the philanthropic work of the whole E-Land Group. … In the CNMI, we don’t have a team dedicated to community engagement but the whole management understands and shares the value of social responsibility, so we work like one team when there is outreach project,” Ahn said.

She said the employees themselves from the company’s three properties show a high level of enthusiasm and interest when E-Land has any outreach projects. “When we plan CSR projects, we get confidence from the support of our employees and their families, which shows that they genuinely enjoy doing volunteer work for the community,” Ahn said.

Before the pandemic, many of their CSR programs were geared toward “public infrastructure development” such as keeping public infrastructures clean and organized. They also had a “youth environmental program” because E-Land’s CSR team believes that community growth starts with the youth, making students understand the importance of taking are of the environment that will eventually mold them to become future leaders.

“In spite of the pandemic, we still continued to engage with the community. When the pandemic started to affect the CNMI’s industries and economy, E-Land Group donated care packages to [the] Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, to the office of Nutrition Assistance Program and to our front-liners. …We also made a donation of $10,525 to Karidat [Social Services] from PIC’s Sharing Seed Fund and 400 packs of rice to Korean community,” Ahn said.

E-Land also conducts regular beach cleanups by taking care of Pau Pau Beach park, which is the company’s adopted site for the Governor’s Council Economic Advisers Private and Public Partnership program.

Other recent initiatives by E-Land include Coral Ocean Golf Resort bringing back the “Mana’mko Ground Golf” event, the company’s employees from the three properties visited the CNMI Living Independently office to have special activities with the center’s consumers and “we continuously sponsor various local events—big or small.

Ahn said they plan to have community outreach projects for the entire year, while making adjustments when unexpected events happen. “….The pandemic has imposed more restraints on our CSR plans, not only because we needed to keep our distance from each other but more importantly, our business suffered hard,” she said.

There are some projects E-Land has in mind, but Ahn said they had to take a rain check on some of these projects because of the pandemic.

“But being in this kind of crisis also gave us a chance to reassure each other and be reminded of a sense of togetherness and solidarity. We have been reconsidering where we need to pay more attention to or what we need to prioritize. The pandemic sheds light on a new perspective and gives new challenges because many of our lives have changed, like one of our new concerns is the increased use of disposable items such as plastic containers and masks. It is our task to figure out how to use less of those while still putting the public health and safety first,” Ahn added.

E Land takes feedbacks and responses from its guests, clients, and stakeholders seriously, Ahn said. “We try to use those responses to improve ourselves and to understand the community better. Having inputs and better understanding of the local community is important to us as we are committed to a long-term vision,” Ahn said. “We would like to come up with more well-established long-term CSR plan for sustainable management and inclusive growth in the CNMI.”

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.