Marriott Urges Hotel Guests to Tip Housekeepers

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By Claire Zillman

The United States imported the concept of tipping service workers from Europe, but that hasn’t stopped America from making the practice its own. Americans tip more than any other nations’ citizens, according to tipping expert Michael Lynn of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. “We’re on the top of the heap in terms of who we tip and how much we tip.”

Marriott International, it seems, is angling to get its workers a piece of that American generosity.

On Monday, the hotel chain announced that it would start placing tip envelopes in its hotel rooms to encourage guests to “express their gratitude by leaving tips and notes of thanks” for hotel room attendants.

The initiative is part of “The Envelope Please,” a project by A Woman’s Nation, a nonprofit organization founded by former California first lady Maria Shriver that advocates for the recognition and respect of women at home and in the workplace. The idea behind the tip envelopes, which will appear in 160,000 guest rooms at participating Marriotts this week, is to give hotel guests the opportunity to acknowledge the “behind-the-scenes” work of housekeepers, which often goes unnoticed and unappreciated because room attendants are not as visible as front-of-the-house employees, according to a release.

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