In response to COVID-19, travel companies large and small have been pitching in during this unprecedented time. Marriott, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, has outlined new ways it will be supporting local communities.
Marriott, in partnership with American Express and JPMorgan Chase, has committed to provide $10 million worth of hotel stays for healthcare professionals on the frontlines.
Rooms for Responders will provide free rooms in some of the hardest hit areas, including New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C. and Newark. To implement the initiative, Marriott collaborated with the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Nurses Association to match doctors and nurses with free accommodations at participating hotels.
Marriott separately teamed with hotel owners and franchisee partners to launch the Community Caregiver Program. Available in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, it provides significantly discounted rates for first responders and healthcare professionals who want to book rooms at hotels in close proximity to the hospitals where they’re working. The rate is available at nearly 2,500 hotels.
“With both initiatives, our goal is simple: We want to support the frontline heroes who are selflessly supporting us,” Marriott announced said in an email.
Individually, many of properties have contributed by providing food, pre-packed and cooked meals to crisis relief efforts and much-needed supplies like cleaning products, masks, gloves, anti-microbial wipes, sanitizers and shower caps for medical and other frontline workers. The Riviera Marriott Hotel La Porte de Monaco and AC Hotel Nice, for example, donated all of their unused produce and food products to a local children’s charity, which provides housing and other services for endangered children.
The email also said Marriott Bonvoy members status earned in 2019 will be extended to February 2022, and the expiration of points will be paused until February 2021. At that time, points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.
Points can also be donated to relief organizations that are active in COVID-19 responses around the world and that Marriott is also supporting, including the American Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF and World Central Kitchen.
Other hotel companies have also stepped up with similar programs. Hilton partnered with American Express to donate up to one million nights to frontline medical professionals fighting the coronavirus. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other frontline medical staff who need a place to “sleep, recharge or isolate from their families,” will be able to stay in the donated rooms.