This past weekend I had the opportunity to stay at the Westin Macau. I tweeted and outlined in my hotel review abvout how disappointed I was to see Shark Fin Soup still on the menu. Even the Chinese government has said they will not allow Shark Fin Soup to be served at official state banquets and events. But yet, the Westin Macau continued the practice.
For those who don’t know, the practice of shark finning is inhumane and cruel to the animals. Sharks are caught and the fins removed while the shark is alive. The shark is then tossed back into the ocean to drown a horrible death. Without its fin, it cannot survive. It’s an unsustainable practice – the shark population where live finning takes place has depleted by up to 90% and in my own opinion the practice of live finning is just wrong. Serving Shark Fin soup – not acceptable – especially by a hotel chain who touts its “greenness” with its Make the Green Choice Program, every email from Starwood employees has the “Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail” tag, they’ve even gone so far as to create a green brand with Element by Westin. You can even see Starwood’s commitment to environment sustainablity on its website. This is why I’m so shocked and saddened that a Westin property, the Westin Macau, continues to serve Shark Fin Soup.
Well, here’s an update. I received an email from the General Manager of the Westin Macau (you can read it for yourself below) indicating that he saw my tweet and that the hotel appreciated the opportunity to respond and will be removing Shark Fin Soup from the menu. It goes on to say that they are removing the pages of the menu that contain shark fin soup immediately and will have a new menu published within one month.
I appreciate the time Mr Winkler took to respond and his willingness to make a significant change at the hotel. In my hotel review, I said that the # one reason I would not return to the Westin was because it had Shark Fin Soup on the menu. I look forward to another visit in the future to see what changes the hotel is making and to ensure that Shark Fin Soup is off the menu (I also have a few readers who will be at the Westin Macau in late September, so it will be interesting to hear from them and see if Shark Fin is gone!)
I applaud the hotel & Mr Winkler’s response. It was timely and addressed my (and the worlds) concerns about the outrageous practice of Shark Finning. Bravo to the Westin Macau.