LoveTravels represents Marriott’s love letter to the world. It’s our commitment to making the world a better place. And so, this Pride season, we showcased the impact of how love can travel to make the world a better place through: 'LoveTravels with Love Letters'.
We invited our associates, Marriott Bonvoy members, customers, communities and beyond to share a Love Letter to LGBTQ+ youth and truly make “love travel”. This year marks a record year for state legislation seeking to endanger or erase LGBTQ+ rights, many of which put LGBTQ+ youth in serious risk. The goal was to spread authentic messages of affirmation and encouragement to LGBTQ+ youth and in turn support trusted organizations like PFLAG National and the Matthew Shepard Foundation with a donation for every letter sent - supporting those who work to protect vulnerable LGBTQ+ people and advance LGBTQ+ rights and equality.
The main objective of this initiative was impact driven in totality – to commission an artist to create visual representations with comforting, supporting, and affirming messages to LGBTQ+ youth and in turn raise pivotal funds for LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations that are working tirelessly to protect LGBTQ+ rights. At a time when the LGBTQ+ community is under constant attacks and the future feels uncertain, messages of love and support can be extremely meaningful to those who really need it. Marriott’s global footprint provides a unique opportunity to have reach across different communities and truly make "love travel", and so we wanted to create an opportunity to spread love and drive impact.
Marriott commissioned trans, non-binary artist Meg Emiko and asked them to design uplifting visuals paired with affirmations loosely tied to the theme of travel to create Love Letter templates for participants to customize. The designs feature colorful illustrations – representing the importance of LGBTQ+ safety and security around the world, the validity of everyone’s journey, reinforcement of every individual’s worthiness, and the idea that no matter where you are – you are loved.
The designs featured the following affirmations:
To spread awareness and encourage engagement, Marriott enlisted (6) social influencers to write their own love letter to LGBTQ+ youth and promote a call-to-action to encourage participation. Participants visited www.marriottloveletters.com and had the opportunity to learn more about the initiative, the artist, the philanthropic partners this directly impacts and how to share their own love letter.
Another key opportunity to drive awareness was Marriott’s participation as the Presenting Advocate of the Capital Pride parade, held in Washington, DC on June 11th. Custom stickers with Meg Emiko’s designs of affirmations were distributed to the 200k+ attendees watching the parade. The stickers featured QR codes that linked to our microsite (www.marriottloveletters.com) with a call-to-action to participate and spread some love to LGBTQ+ youth.
At the close of 2022, the letters will be printed into physical postcards and delivered to our philanthropic partners at PFLAG National and True Colors United where the letters will be delivered directly to LGBTQ+ youth.
LoveTravels is our promise to advance inclusion, equality, and create positive and sustainable impact wherever we do business. We are committed to nurture our world, sustain responsible operations, empower through opportunity, and welcome all. ‘LoveTravels with Love Letters’ is one of the many ways we are uplifting and supporting the LGBTQ+ community and our philanthropic partners to advance LGBTQ+ equality and welcome all.
Over 500+ letters were written following the launch of ‘LoveTravels with Love Letters’ – a true testament to participants and their efforts to spread love for LGBTQ+ youth. As a result of the number of Love Letters sent thus far, Marriott donated $100k to PFLAG National and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Highlights of messages of love written to LGBTQ+ youth include: