Marriott International Joins The Envelope Please™, A New Initiative Created by Maria Shriver and A Woman's Nation™ in Support of Hotel Room Attendants
Los Angeles and Bethesda, Md. - Sept. 15, 2014 – A Woman’s Nation (AWN), together with Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), announced today that Marriott International will be the first partner in AWN’s The Envelope Please™ initiative, which is designed to encourage and enable hotel guests to express their gratitude by leaving tips and notes of thanks for hotel room attendants in designated envelopes provided in hotel rooms.
Hotel room attendants often go unnoticed, as they silently care for the millions of travelers who are on the road at any given time. Because hotel guests do not always see or interact with room attendants, their hard work is many times overlooked when it comes to tipping. The Envelope Please makes leaving them a gratuity simple and secure.
Beginning this week, Marriott International will place signature envelopes in more than 160,000 guest rooms at participating Marriott-managed hotels in the U.S. and Canada, making it easy for guests to express their gratitude and leave a voluntary gratuity for their room attendants. Marriott has also invited its franchise hotels to participate in this initiative.
“The Envelope Please was born from having conversations with women I’ve met who have taken care of my room during hotel stays. 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 travelers don't see them face-to-face. I hope this gratitude initiative will make these women feel seen and validated,” said Maria Shriver, founder of A Woman’s Nation.
“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,” says Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International. “Each year during International Housekeepers Week (Sept. 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,” said Sorenson.
“I am thrilled to have such a strong inaugural partner in Marriott International. The Envelope Please is a great way to make it easier for hotel guests to tip room attendants, and we hope other hotel companies will join this effort,” said Shriver.
Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, praised The Envelope Please for raising the visibility of hotel room attendants. “The Envelope Please initiative is a powerful way to raise awareness of the hard work performed by room attendants, mostly women who often go unnoticed by travelers.”
"Room attendants are one of the largest employment categories in the hotel industry, and their work behind the scenes is so important to the quality of the stay in any hotel. The Envelope Please is an effective way for guests to recognize their room attendant's work and show appreciation for making every stay a memorable and pleasant experience. American Hotel and Lodging Association applauds this effort," says Katherine Lugar, president and CEO.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association suggests that hotel guests leave $1 to $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. (Click to download the AH&LA Gratuity Guide.)
Que Nguyen, a room attendant for more than 20 years at the Nashville Airport Marriott, was among this year’s J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence honorees – the company’s highest honor. Que has mentored almost every room attendant hired since she joined the company in 1991. Que is just one example of the exceptional “spirit to serve” culture at Marriott. Click to read her story.
About The Envelope Please™
The latest Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, published in January 2014, examined the lives and work of the 42 million women and 28 million children living in or on the brink of poverty in the United States. It called on all individuals to recognize the power they have to impact women, and that one way to do so is by leaving good tips for room attendants when travelling. Making more visible the contributions of hotel room attendants – the majority of whom are women and many of whom are breadwinners in their families – The Envelope Please will recognize partner hotels that make tip envelopes available in hotel rooms throughout the United States and abroad.
A Woman’s Nation (AWN) adds The Envelope Please to its Economic Empowerment Initiative, joining The Shriver Corps and AWN’s Microlending Team at Kiva, as on-the-ground programs that implement the findings of The Shriver Report, the organization’s Signature Initiative. The Shriver Report is an award-winning, nonpartisan project that raises awareness, ignites conversations and inspires impact around the deﬁning issues and fundamental changes facing modern women and their families.
About Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc.(NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
About A Woman’s NationTM
A Woman’s NationTM is a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure that the value of women is recognized and respected – at home, in the workplace and as caretakers on the frontlines of humanity. Through its multimedia initiatives and innovative partnerships, A Woman's Nation informs, inspires, and ignites change in hearts and minds. To learn more, please visit www.AWomansNation.org.