By Rahul Odedra
Hotel operator is placing envelopes in more than 160,000 guest rooms to encourage tipping
Marriott International is partnering with a powerful women’s organisation in an initiative aimed at encouraging guests to leave tips for their hotel room attendants.
The company is placing envelopes in more than 160,000 guest rooms at participating Marriott-managed hotels in the USA and Canada, making it easy for guests to express their gratitude with a note and leave a voluntary gratuity.
It is part of The Envelope Please initiative which is being driven by A Woman’s Nation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to making sure that the value of women is recognised and respected.
According to Marriott, the hard work of room attendants is often overlooked by hotel guests, who do not always see or interact with them.
“Marriott is proud to support The Envelope Please to shine a light on the excellent behind-the-scenes work our room attendants do day in and day out,” said Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson.
“Each year during International Housekeepers Week (September 15-19), our hotels across all brands express their appreciation through special recognition events for their room attendants.
“Room attendants are the largest employee group within Marriott International and the heart of the house. We are proud to offer opportunities for job growth, strong training programs and competitive wages and benefit packages.”
Maria Shriver, the former First Lady of California and founder of A Woman’s Nation, explained the origins of the campaign.
“The Envelope Please was born from having conversations with women I’ve met who have taken care of my room during hotel stays,” she said.
“Their stories of hard work and perseverance inspired and informed me. They told me that room attendants, who are often the primary breadwinner for their families, are often forgotten when it comes to tipping, unlike other front-of-house employees, since most travellers don't see them face-to-face.
“I hope this gratitude initiative will make these women feel seen and validated.”
The American Hotel and Lodging Association suggests that hotel guests leave US $1 to US $5 per night, depending on the hotel class, and recommends tipping daily rather than at checkout to ensure that it goes to the person cleaning the room.
A Marriott International spokesperson confirmed that there are no plans to roll out the initiative to the Middle East.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Will the envelopes be pink? A typical example of [the service industry] trying to avoid paying decent wages.