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22 June 2017, Resorts World Manila offers victims support in wake of 2 June active shooter attack – other brands usually abandon victims of violence

In the wake of the 2 June 2017 active shooter attack on the Resorts World Manila (RWM) facility – specifically, the Maxims Hotel and attached casino that killed 37 plus the gunman – RWM officials have made several pledges to compensate the families of the deceased and the wounded.

On 2 June, RWM Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly said the company would offer the victims’ families “full support and assistance.” On 7 June, RWM president Kingson Sian made additional statements regarding educational support for the victims’ families. The combined extent of this support so far is as follows:

  • $21,000 USD per deceased victim’s family (at least half has reportedly been paid out already)
  • Funeral and burial assistance per deceased victim’s family
  • $11,000 USD per injured victim
  • Medical expenses for injured victims
  • Education of the children of the deceased paid for up to college
  • Job opportunities with RWM offered to the children of the deceased

On 10 June, Andrew Tan, the Chinese-Philippine billionaire who is one of the main developers/operators of RWM (a joint venture between Tan’s Alliance Global Incorporated and Genting Hong Kong Limited) attended the ninth day mass for the victims of the attack. Mr. Tan’s family attended as well, and they made it clear that they would support the victims’ families, and they hugged and consoled them, one on one. RWM Company Chair David Chua Ming Huat did, likewise.

The key takeaway here is that RWM has admitted a degree of culpability in the attack, and it has taken proactive steps to reach out to the victims and tend to their needs in the wake of this tragedy.

This is almost unheard of in the hospitality sector.

To be clear, the company is admitting limited security lapses, but it believes, so far, at least, that it followed proper protocol in calling the police to handle the situation in the face of a perceived terror attack. But the fact that RWM is offering help at all is astounding in the current hospitality legal culture. From the consumer’s point of view, RWM’s actions are dramatically far superior to other international hotels and resorts that typically abandon victims of terrorism and other violent forms of attack. Pointedly, hotel franchisers and brand headquarters usually deny negligence, assign the blame to unreasonable foreseeability or a similar legal concept that allows them to duck out of any responsibility, and then they face down their former guests/victims in court with high-powered attorneys.

This is a brand image and social media disaster waiting to happen, which is why most hotel franchisers and brand headquarters try to quietly defeat their former guests in court and avoid news headlines, lest they suffer a United Airlines style brand and stock price pummeling (see the United Airlines fiasco regarding the exceedingly violent removal of passenger David Dao.)

Sources and further reading:

Where was Andrew Tan?,” Inquirer.net, 21 June 2017.

Resorts World to fund education of victims’ children until college,” Rappler, 7 June 2017.

Resorts World Manila to give victims’ families P1M each,” Rappler, 3 June 2017.

United Airlines CEO calls passenger’s removal a ‘mistake of epic proportions’,” The Guardian, 2 May 2017.

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