Two Niagara University professors were involved in one of the world's largest annual international hospitality conferences last week.
Drs. Chang Huh and William D. Frye presented their ongoing research during the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education's 2015 Annual Conference & Marketplace, which was held July 29-31 in Orlando. The event brought together hundreds of scholars, industry professionals and graduate students from across the globe to discuss contemporary topics in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Huh and Frye, both associate professors in NU's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, collaborated on a study titled, "The effects of The Envelope PleaseTM initiative on tip increase, job motivation and engagement of room attendants."
The "Envelope Please" is an economic empowerment initiative that encourages travelers to offer gratuity to guestroom attendants. It was conceived by A Woman's Nation, a nonprofit organization founded by journalist and former California first lady Maria Shriver. Marriott International joined the program last fall when it began providing envelopes in guestrooms to encourage visitors to tip workers.
Guestroom attendants often go unnoticed, as they silently care for the millions of travelers who are on the road at any given time, Frye said. Currently, only about 30 percent of hotel guests leave a gratuity for their hotel room attendant. Most guestroom attendants are only paid at or slightly above minimum wage for working in a labor-intensive and detail-oriented position.
The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of "The Envelope Please" initiative on room attendants' job motivation and engagement from a room attendant's perspective. The study also is aimed at investigating the change in tip income since the initiative was introduced. The findings of this study will exhibit the effectiveness of this initiative and discuss methods to enhance the motivation and engagement of room attendants.
The ICHRIE is a nonprofit professional association that provides programs and services to continually improve the quality of global education, research, service and business operations in the hospitality and tourism industry.
To learn more about Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, call 716-286-8279 or visit www.niagara.edu/hospitality.