Preparing for a comeback: Marriott offers employees financial incentive to get vaccinated
Marriott International announced on Thursday that it would offer a financial incentive to staff at Marriott-managed properties in the U.S. and Canada to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
As part of the initiative, which Marriott is calling the "Vaccination Care Program," the company will also provide education around the benefits of the vaccine as well as flexible scheduling to accommodate vaccine appointments. The financial incentive is four hours of pay once the employee has completed the vaccination process.
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“The health and safety of our people is our top priority. 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 global chief human resources officer, Marriott International, David Rodriguez. “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.”
While this is the first instance of a vaccination incentive, airlines are also stepping in to help facilitate vaccinations for employees. Etihad Airways became the first airline in the world with 100% of crew on board vaccinated back in February. As TPG's Zach Honig reported, other airlines are working on inoculating all crew as well: Singapore Airlines will provide employees with Pfizer’s vaccine, while Emirates is working to roll out the Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines among its staff. In an internal town hall, United CEO Scott Kirby added his two cents on the matter, saying, “I think the right thing to do is for United Airlines, and for other companies, to require the vaccines and to make them mandatory.”
Related: Breaking down Etihad’s impressive crew vaccine claim
The travel industry has taken a massive hit since the onset of COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020. NBC reported at the beginning of this year that, as a whole, airlines lost more than $35 billion in 2020. That's according to analyst estimates provided by FactSet. While vaccinating employees is a great way of helping keep staff safe and healthy, as Marriott notes, it could also provide a boost of confidence to consumers on the fence about booking their next vacation — and a boost to the travel industry as well.
Related: Where you can go with a vaccine passport; A country-by-country guide