CALIFORNIA-BASED HOTELIER Sunil “Sunny” Tolani’s philanthropy vehicle the Prince Organization is giving veterans something to be thankful for this month. Several other major hotel companies also are recognizing the military service members during the month of Veterans Day.
Choice Hotels International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton and Radisson Hotel Group’s Country Inn and Suites by Radisson brand are offering specials to travellers in uniform.
Tolani signed the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support last week during an early Thanksgiving celebration with employees and veterans with their spouses. The Prince Organization also is sending kits with essential products to service members along with organizing food drives and giving additional discounts at his hotels.
“I would love to see each and every employee achieve the American dream of working hard and honest, owning their own homes, putting their children through college and retiring with respect and dignity,” said Tolani, who has a history of philanthropy during the holidays. “It has always been my ambition to be the best I can and help the community.”
On the homefront
For Choice Hotels, this is the second consecutive year serving America’s military families with the “Choice Salutes” campaign. In partnership with non-profit Operation Homefront, Choice is organizing family travel and reunion opportunities and also conducting various regional celebrations.
“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,” said Patrick Pacious, president and CEO, Choice Hotels.
For the heroes
IHG began its “Hospitality for Heroes” campaign on Nov. 4 and is allowing everyone to nominate an important service member in their lives.
Guests can either post a photo and caption of the member of the military recognizing them for their service on Instagram tagging @IHGArmyHotels or email it directly to IHGAHSweepstakes@ihg.com.
IHG will give 200,000 IHG Reward Club points to five selected winners in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the IHG Army Hotels.
“For the past 10 years, IHG has had the privilege of supporting our military at U.S. military installations through IHG Army Hotels. We thank our veterans for their service and recognize their sacrifice every day – it is an honor to serve those who serve us,” said Chinmaya Sarangi, IHG Army Hotels director of marketing. “We created the new Hospitality for Heroes sweepstakes, where we’re giving away 1,000,000 IHG Rewards Club points, to help mark 10 years of IHG Army Hotels on-post and as a fun way to encourage travelers to celebrate the service members in their lives.”
IHG also has a veterans hiring initiative offering comprehensive job listings for veterans across IHG corporate offices, IHG Army Hotels, and IHG-branded hotels.
“Every day, thousands of members of the military and their families choose to stay at an IHG-branded hotel,” CEO for the Americas Elie Maalouf said. “No matter where their journey takes them, we thank them for their service.”
The rewards of service
Radisson Hotel Group’s Country Inn and Suites by Radisson brand is partnering with USO and donating the non-profit 12 million Radisson Reward points the help military families travel and reunite with their families in this holiday season.
As part of the “Rewarding Those Who Serve campaign”, the hotel-chain will donate $5 from each night’s stay to the USO for each booking through ILoveThisCountry.com using the promo code CISUSO5 by January 12, 2020.
Brittany Boccher, 2017 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year and USO ambassador, will announce and promote the campaign with a segment on The Talk on Thursday.
Mission accomplished, but more to do
Last week Hilton announced that it had achieved its “Operation: Opportunity” target of hiring 30,000 veterans, military spouses and caregivers over the past six years. The company then pledged, in recognition of National Veteran and Military Families Month, to expand that program to 25,000 more veterans and their families by 2025, along with specific training and development initiatives.
“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 President and CEO Christopher Nassetta. “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.”
Hilton also is continuing its Hilton Honors Points for veterans to redeem for free hotel stays while traveling for job interviews, training or certifications with Hilton or in any industry. To date, the company 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, Hilton’s chief human resources officer.
More information on job opportunities with the company can be found at jobs.hilton.com/military.
Last year, Super 8 by Wyndham auctioned off its ROADM8 concept car to benefit the Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit that houses the families of patients at military and VA medical centers away from their hometowns.