This Veterans Day, hotels across the United States are taking steps to honor and support the nation’s active military service members, veterans, and their families. Below are five hotel companies that have recently launched initiatives for Veterans Day.
1Country Inn & Suites and USO to Reunite Military Families
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, a leading upper midscale hotel brand, and the USO, a nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country, are partnering on a program to reunite military families. Through the “Rewarding Those Who Serve” campaign, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is donating 12 million Radisson Rewards points to the USO to help several military families travel this holiday season and reunite with their loved ones. Additionally, from now through the end of January 2020, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson is donating $5 from each night’s stay to the USO when guests book via ILoveThisCountry.com using the promo code CISUSO5 by January 12, 2020.
“We are honored to play a role in the lives of military service members and their families this holiday season,” said Catherine Higgins Whiteside, vice president of marketing, Radisson Hotel Group. “At the heart of Country Inn & Suites by Radisson lives our deep sense of community, and we truly believe this partnership with the USO embodies our commitment to deliver memorable moments for all our guests, especially for the dedicated military men and women who protect our nation’s communities every day.”
“We are thrilled to build upon our partnership with Country Inn & Suites by Radisson with the launch of the Rewarding Those Who Serve campaign. They continue to demonstrate how strongly invested they are in supporting our men and women in uniform, and military families,” said Chad Hartman, USO vice president of corporate partnerships. “The USO and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson both strive to serve as a home away from home, when people need it most, by providing special moments for guests and families. We look forward to providing military families an opportunity to reconnect and enjoy time together this holiday season.”
Brittany Boccher, 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, proud mother of two, and USO ambassador, will help announce and celebrate the Rewarding Those Who Serve campaign with a segment on The Talk on November 14.
“The USO acts as an extended family with comfort, support, and care for American service members everywhere,” said Boccher. “I have benefited from their services dozens of times as a spouse and a mom, and know that it sometimes takes a village to continue that community of care for our military families no matter what part of the journey they are on. I’m grateful for the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson partnership because their ability to connect families and bring them together will create joy and have a powerful impact on those who serve.”
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson created the Military 1st program which gives thanks to service members and their families when not traveling on official business. The program provides an upgrade to the best available room at the time of check-in, as well as a discount on each stay. Additionally, more than 450 Country Inn & Suites by Radisson hotels in the United States have thank-you note writing stations in their lobbies, where guests of any age can write notes of thanks to service members. These words of gratitude are then sent to the USO for inclusion in its care packages distributed to service members worldwide.
2Hilton Expands U.S. Military Commitment
Hilton recently announced that the company has achieved its Operation: Opportunity target of hiring 30,000 veterans, military spouses, and caregivers over the past six years across hotels, corporate offices, and work-from-home positions in the United States. To celebrate the milestone and honor National Veterans and Military Families Month, Hilton has pledged to expand its commitment to hire 25,000 additional veterans, military spouses, and caregivers by 2025. Additionally, it will provide enhanced training and development opportunities and comprehensive benefits tailored for the veteran community. Hilton’s hiring commitment remains the largest in the hospitality industry and one of the largest in the U.S. private sector.
“Throughout our first century of hospitality, we have been proud to support our Hilton Team Members and their families who are part of the military community—including welcoming 30,000 veterans, spouses, and caregivers over the last six years alone,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton. “These Team Members have had a huge impact in our business, and we’re thrilled to grow our commitment to this community with our new hiring goal.”
The expanded Operation: Opportunity initiative provides support to U.S. veterans and their families, including supporting veterans and spouses with retraining opportunities, virtual and physical career fairs, and virtual sessions for resume and interview tips; committing to community service projects and in-kind donations for organizations such as Team Rubicon, USO, Hidden Heroes, and Warrior Canine Connection; and collaborating with Hilton’s Learning and Development Team to help transition service members, facilitating events, sponsorships, and networking for military team members, increasing the number of veteran-owned business suppliers, and providing online community forums and an internal transfer system for military spouses. In addition, Hilton’s expanded initiative includes enhancing military leave benefits and strengthening military discounts and promotions for military guests and team members. As part of this, Hilton recently announced an enhancement to its hotel Long Tenure Travel Program, allowing employees to use their U.S. military active service to gain credit towards lifelong access to discounted hotel rates.
Additionally, Hilton will continue existing programs and partnerships designed to support the military community, such as the donation of Hilton Honors Points for veterans to redeem for free hotel stays while traveling for job interviews, training, or certifications, whether with Hilton or in any industry. To date, Hilton has donated nearly 525,000,000 points to more than 5,300 veterans, allowing for more than 5,200 stays at Hilton properties.
“Our message to veterans and their families is simple: we value the leadership, integrity, and teamwork and other meaningful skills you bring to the hospitality industry,” said Matt Schuyler, chief human resources officer, Hilton. “We will do everything we can to create a smooth transition to the civilian workforce and support the growth and development of our veteran, spouse and caregiver team members so they can build meaningful careers here at Hilton.”
“I love working for a company that shares many of the same values of myself and my fellow military spouses and veterans—purpose before self, community, and sustainable giving. I can really feel at home at Hilton,” said Kathleen Hankard, development coach for the Hilton Customer Care and Reservations Team and military spouse.
3Choice Hotels Teams Up With Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, and Choice Hotels International launched the second year of their partnership with the debut of the “Choice Salutes” campaign, which will run throughout Veteran’s Day weekend. The two organizations will be thanking military families for their service with family travel and reunion opportunities, and various regional events and celebrations. Additionally, travelers who book direct on ChoiceHotels.com/Salute between November 8 and November 11 will receive 15 percent off stays through December 30, and a portion of the proceeds from reservations made will go to Operation Homefront to help serve America’s military families.
“Choice has a proud history of connecting people through travel, which is why we’re pleased to build on this legacy through our work with Operation Homefront for a second year,” said Patrick Pacious, president and CEO, Choice Hotels. “Last year, we worked with Operation Homefront to donate the equivalent of more than 2,000 room nights to military families across the nation and we look forward to helping even more service members reunite with loved ones this holiday season and beyond.”
Many military families serve their country in places that take them far away from family and loved ones, and with limited finances, returning home for a much-needed visit is challenging. In recognition of their sacrifices, iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.’s on-air personality Michael J. from 98.7 WMZQ-FM will join Choice Hotels and Operation Homefront on November 8 at the nonprofit’s Transitional Housing Village in Gaithersburg, Md., to surprise every military family in residence with a trip to visit their loved ones for the holidays.
The continued partnership between Choice Hotels and Operation Homefront allows the national nonprofit to continue supporting the critical financial needs of military families with rent payments, car and home repairs, food, utility bills, grocery assistance, and more. Last November, the hotel company pledged more than $300,000—including 20 million Choice Privileges loyalty points—to help veterans and active duty service members connect with their families and friends throughout the year.
Operation Homefront has fulfilled nearly 43,000 requests for assistance since 2011, providing military families with more than $27 million in critical financial support.
“We are deeply grateful to the entire Choice team for all they and their customers have done and continue to do to help us help a very special group of our fellow citizens—our troops and their families,” said retired Brig. Gen. John Pray, Jr., president and CEO, Operation Homefront. “With their unwavering support, we are able to give military families the opportunity to thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.”
4IHG Army Hotels To Award 1,000,000 IHG Rewards Club Points
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of IHG Army Hotels, a portfolio of hotels located on 40 U.S. military installations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and to honor of Veterans Day and National Veterans and Military Families Month, IHG is inviting eligible fans to nominate an important service member in their lives, including active duty, retired, or veteran, during a new hospitality for heroes sweepstakes starting on Nov. 4. Fans can enter the sweepstakes on Instagram by following @IHGArmyHotels, post a photo and caption of the member of the military recognizing them for their service, tag @IHGArmyHotels, and include the hashtags #sweepstakes, #ihgah10, and #hospitalityforheroes. Fans can also enter by emailing a photo and caption directly to IHGAHSweepstakes@ihg.com. IHG will select five to win 200,000 IHG Rewards Club points at random once the sweepstakes ends on Nov. 15.
“At our military hotels, we are proud to serve those who have served, and we recognize the sacrifice that those in uniform and their families make every day,” said Chuck Sourbeer, head of operations for IHG Army Hotels. “We hope this sweepstakes encourages travelers to celebrate the special military member in their lives and possibly win IHG Rewards Club points they can use to take their hero on an exciting trip, or simply travel to visit them.”
In addition, IHG is offering its IHG Military Appreciation Leisure Rate—a military discount for U.S. and Canadian active duty, veterans, retired military personnel, and family members at participating IHG hotels across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
IHG also supports veterans through its IHG Veterans Hiring initiative, which offers comprehensive job listings across IHG corporate offices, IHG Army Hotels, and IHG-branded hotels around the globe. Designed as a resource that is easy to navigate, the hospitality career portal encourages veterans to put their passion to work.
“Every day, thousands of members of the military and their families choose to stay at an IHG-branded hotel,” Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, said. “No matter where their journey takes them, we thank them for their service and are honored to continue to support them on-post through IHG Army Hotels, off-post at one of nearly 5,800 IHG hotels worldwide and through our longstanding focus on connecting veterans with careers in the hospitality industry.”
5Wyndham Announces 1 Million Points Match for Veterans Day
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts recently announced new initiatives honoring active and retired military members and their families, including a one-to-one match of all Wyndham Rewards point donations to its military non-profit partners—up to 1 million points—along with increased savings of 15 to 20 percent off the best available rate at participating hotels, plus 500 Wyndham Rewards bonus points on upcoming stays through Dec. 6, 2019.
Available at participating hotels in the United States and Canada, the promotional offer and point match come on the heels of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts adding its newest charitable military partner: Hope For The Warriors, a four-star rated, 501(c)(3) organization that provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans and military families.
Other military non-profit partners, all of whom will have point donations matched during the promotional period up to 170,000 points each, include Fisher House Foundation, Armed Services YMCA, Operation Homefront, Team Red White & Blue, and Team Rubicon.
“We believe in honoring and saying ‘thank you’ to the brave members of the armed forces and their families every day of the year, but this Veterans Day, we’re doing even more,” said Sheila Schottland, vice president of brand marketing at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “From matching points donated by members to our military non-profit partners, to increasing already available discounts plus bonus points added on top, it’s one more way for us to give back and show our gratitude.”
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and its brands have a history of celebrating and supporting those who serve, from discounts available at its more than 9,200 hotels to sponsorship of veteran-centric events—like Super 8’s upcoming support of the 12th annual Long Island Run for the Warriors race—and hiring initiatives, including La Quinta’s collaboration with Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, to help drive veteran employment opportunities. Military members, veterans, and their spouses also receive special benefits when they join Wyndham Rewards, they are eligible for a complimentary upgrade to Wyndham Rewards’ Gold membership along with 1,000 bonus Wyndham Rewards points upon completion of their first qualified stay.