Pedestrians walk past a Marriott hotel in Chicago. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Today Marriott International, Inc., the largest hospitality group in the world, announced it will provide a financial incentive to employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Through the company’s new Vaccination Care Program, Marriott employees across all brands in the U.S. and Canada will receive the equivalent of four hours of pay upon completion of the vaccination. The company’s broad portfolio of 30 hospitality brands includes household names like Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, Residence Inn, Aloft, Moxy and many more.
“To encourage our associates to get vaccinated, we are also providing education on the benefits of vaccination and directing leaders to allow for schedule flexibility for vaccination appointments,” said Marriott in a statement, noting that getting vaccinated is strongly encouraged but not mandated.
“Our goal for the Vaccination Care Program is to remove potential obstacles to getting vaccinated so our associates can put their health first and have peace of mind,” said David Rodriguez, the company’s global chief human resources officer. “Marriott International is confident that vaccination is a key measure, along with mask wearing, social distancing and stepped-up cleanliness protocols and hygiene practices in minimizing the spread of Covid-19.”
“As vaccines become more widely available, this will create a safer environment for all associates, and we believe that consumer confidence to travel again will increase significantly and help the rebound of the travel and tourism sector,” said Rodriguez, adding that the company was encouraging franchisees to offer this incentive to their associates.”
Marriott suffered record losses in 2020 after the pandemic paralyzed global travel. In an interview with CNN, Marriott’s brand new CEO Tony Capuano said the company views the distribution of vaccines as a key driver of an economic recovery.
“I do think vaccinations are the key to unlocking all the pent-up travel demand that exists,” said Capuano.
In providing a financial incentive to workers who get vaccinated, Mariott is joining some other prominent travel and leisure brands. Amtrak recently announced it will pay its roughly 20,000 workers the equivalent of two hours in wages to get vaccinated for Covid-19, and McDonald’s is offering workers up to four hours of paid time off to get vaccinated.
I watch trends in travel. Prior to working at Forbes, I was a longtime freelancer who contributed hundreds of articles to Conde Nast Traveler, CNN Travel, Travel +