Should Marriott Be Asking Hotel Guests to Help Pay Staff Wages?

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Marriott (MAR) guests will soon find a new feature in their rooms: a gentle reminder to tip the staff.

Earlier this week, the hotel chain launched a new campaign called The Envelope Please to encourage guests to leave tips for the housekeepers. At locations across the United States and Canada, staff will leave white envelopes in 160,000 hotel rooms printed with the name of person who cleans that room and a message:

Thanks for staying at Marriott Hotels. Our caring room attendants enjoyed making your stay warm and comfortable. Please feel free to leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for their efforts.

The program is being launched with Maria Shriver, founder of A Woman's Nation, who described the campaign as an important step toward educating travelers. Many people may not realize that it's customary to tip housekeeping staff, she told the Associated Press. The Envelope Please is a good way to gently remind them while providing an easy and secure option for leaving behind a little bit of cash.

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