Would You Pay More To Stay At A Hotel That’s “Made In The USA”

Marriott announced this morning that they were rolling out towels and bath mats in all of their US hotels that were made in the USA from cotton completely grown in the USA. Quoting from the press release:

In a first for the U.S. hospitality industry, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) announced today that it will provide “Made in USA” towels and bath mats in every guest bathroom in nearly 3,000 U.S. hotels. Buying “Made in USA” towels and bath mats benefits U.S. manufacturing communities such as Thomaston, Ga., and Union, S.C., where manufacturing company Standard Textile is producing them with 100 percent cotton fiber grown in the U.S.

Marriott’s commitment to buy “Made in USA” guestroom terry products creates 150 new jobs in Standard Textile’s facilities in Thomaston and Union, as well as at the company’s Cincinnati headquarters and through its supply chain.

 

Marriott Hotels

As someone who spent a considerable period of time working in the hotel industry, I found this announcement interesting given that a large percentage of linens come from outside the US.  It’s great to see the jobs this creates in the US but it did lead to ask this question:

Would you pay more for a hotel room if it meant you were supporting American jobs?

To be clear, I don’t think this switch to US-made towels results in a direct price increase to the customer.  I think it’s entirely possible that the move doesn’t actually cost materially more for the hotels.  Standard Textile might spread the increase across other items it sells Marriott.  And, given how big Marriott actually is, Standard may just have swallowed any extra cost associated with this.

But, I do think it’s an interesting question.  If Marriott continued to source other products specifically from US vendors, I don’t think they could pass that cost onto the consumer.  So much of hotel rates are driven by price, through corporate contracts and OTAs like Expedia.  Even a few dollars difference in rate against a hotel’s competitors can result in lost business.

I like the move by Marriott.  I don’t think it starts a wave of hotel chains looking to roll out larger efforts here.  But, as with many things, it’s the thought that counts.

Would you pay more to support a hotel that bought “Made in the USA” products?

The post Would You Pay More To Stay At A Hotel That’s “Made In The USA” was published first on Pizza In Motion.

23 Comments

  1. Total marketing BS!!! If you understand a little bit about cotton you know that the best cotton and fabrics come from Egypt, Turkey and Peru. These 3 countries provide most of the cotton to all high end towels and bed linens made in their countries or in Italy and Portugal. Thus, having cotton grown in the US and towels and bed linens made in the US does not mean you are providing the best quality out there.

      1. Well, based on the low quality of towels and linens that Marriott and other US hotels offer in their properties maybe anything made in the US will be better than what they have today. However, I hope they don’t claim that cotton and fabrics made in the US are better than the ones I described in my previous post.

          1. Did you read what I said on my post? “However, I hope they don’t claim that cotton and fabrics made in the US are better than the ones I described in my previous post.”. Nowhere I said they said that. I just said “I hope they don’t claim that.”

          2. Yes, I read your first post where you wrote (without qualifiers) “Thus, having cotton grown in the US and towels and bed linens made in the US does not mean you are providing the best quality out there.”

          3. gobluetwo, if the cotton (and quality of the sheets) was the same quality as what could be had by using cotton from outside the US, would you pay more for that hotel room? Not better quality, but the same.

  2. Not a chance. I stay where it’s most convenient and where I get the most value for me and my family. Corporations like to play consumers on the whole national pride BS, but they see no problem with inversions to avoid paying US taxes. Other countries’ workers have families to feed too. Want me to stay at your hotel? Then compete on the same playing field with everybody else. Made in USA doesn’t give you a free pass.

      1. Not going anywhere. I wasn’t suggesting Marriott has inverted. i was speaking in general terms. My point is that corporations exist for one purpose and one purpose alone; shareholder value. The rest of the stuff they do or say is a sales pitch for the most part. Hotels have no problem devaluing their rewards programs whenever they feel like, and how do you like them apples? I’ll stay at Marriott if they’re better and they can compete, not because they buy towels from the U.S.

      1. You don’t think this is an attempt to put more heads in beds by playing on national pride? Why do they have to put a press release about it? If they care, then just buy the towels from the U.S. manufacturer and be done with it. I don’t like that corporations try to pass these things off as “we care”. It comes off as self serving. It’s no different than people who contribute to charity and they have to run immediately to social media to tell everyone about it. Perception is reality. It sounds like a free pass to me. “We buy American. Stay with us instead”

        1. FTG, I do think they’re trying to turn it into a sales pitch. Maybe I misinterpreted your comment on “free pass”. And, if I was a corporation (trying to create value for shareholders), I would certainly consider Made in the USA as a marketing slogan. I don’t personally think it moves the needle since I think most people choose hotels based on either price or elite status. But, as a for profit entity, I’d consider almost anything not illegal or immoral as a sales tactic.

  3. That is a difficult question to answer, Ed.

    If I pay more to support “Made in the USA”, I might be indirectly helping to stimulate the economy in the United States — but then, I would have less money to spend where I could be directly supporting not only the national economy; but also the local economy in terms of city, county and state where I am based.

    If possible, I personally would prefer to support a local small business than a multinational corporation where I have no idea where my money is going…

  4. Free trade makes us richer. Protectionism impoverishes us. This move makes no economic sense so has to be marketing BS – and ineffective at that in that the subtext is that you will pay at least as much for an inferior product.

  5. People outside the borders of the U.S. have moral worth. In fact they ought to count just as much as people who happen to be born here. Taking jobs away from poorer people outside the US shouldn’t be celebrated.

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