Bibles in Hotel Rooms Declined by Greater Than 50 Percent in Ten Years

“B ut a recent survey by STR, a hospitality analytics company, found that the percentage of hotels that offer religious materials in rooms has dropped significantly over the last decade, from 95% of hotels in 2006 to 48% this year”, according to this article written by Hugo Martin of the Los Angeles Times. “Among the reasons for the change, according to industry experts, is a need to appeal to younger American travelers who are less devout than their parents or grandparents and to avoid offending international travelers such as Muslims or Buddhists.”

Bibles in Hotel Rooms Declined by Greater Than 50 Percent in Ten Years

I asked the question of whether or not copies of the Bible be removed from hotel rooms back on Monday, 

The question of whether or not the Book of Mormon will be placed in the hotel rooms of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide was also asked by me on Sunday, 

…but the decision has been reached that in its hotels under the Moxy Hotels and Edition Hotels brands, no religious materials will be offered. Moxy Hotels was created through a partnership of Marriott International with Inter Hospitality — the property division of Inter IKEA Systems Besloten Vennootschap — in a foray of its first entry into the economy tier, three-star hospitality segment with boutique hotels “with the social heart of a hostel” targeted towards a demographic of customers 18 to 35 years of age; while Edition Hotels targets a similar demographic by combining a “personal, intimate, individualized and unique lodging experience” with “the global reach, operational expertise and scale of Marriott” in an effort to “encompass, for the very first time, not only great design and true innovation, but also great personal, friendly, modern service as well as outstanding, one-of-a-kind food, beverage and entertainment offerings… ‘all under one roof’.”

Demographic is not the only reason for the reduction of religious materials in hotel rooms, as design elements have also played a role. According to the aforementioned article by Hugo Martin, “many newer hotel brands install shelves rather than nightstands with drawers next to the bed, making it difficult to be discreet about offering a Bible. A copy of the Scriptures on a bedside shelf makes a more pronounced statement than a Bible slipped into a drawer.”

The lodging industry has also been pressured by atheist groups and other organizations to remove Bibles from hotel rooms.

Summary

Religion is one of those topics which never seems to fail to be controversial. I believe that religion is a very personal topic which tends to cause more arguments than resolve — and it seems to cause more conflicts than promote peace. I have always thought that unless one religion can be proven to be ubiquitously and unanimously the best religion of all, no one religion is completely right or wrong, as the teachings of each religion can be more subjective than objective.

I have never been offended about finding a copy of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or any other religious book or article in the nightstand drawer in any hotel room at which I have ever stayed — personally or otherwise — so it would stand to reason that I am not against them having them supplied in the rooms of hotel or resort properties.

Apparently, the physical copy of a religious book in a hotel room is joining the physical telephone directory towards obsolescence; but I would certainly not interpret that as less interest in religion overall. Rather, it seems to be more of a sound business decision which will save on paper to create the books and fuel to ship the books…

…especially as many different versions of religious content and materials are now available in the form of mobile software application programs which are easily downloaded to the portable electronic device of your choice — most of them free of charge.

There was no Bible to be found in this hotel room at the AC Hotel Coslada Aeropuerto in Madrid — which is a hotel property of Marriott International — due to the design, which features shelves instead of nightstands next to the bed. Please read this review of the AC Hotel Coslada Aeropuerto. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen. 

5 thoughts on “Bibles in Hotel Rooms Declined by Greater Than 50 Percent in Ten Years”

  1. Frank says:

    Why is this important? BTW, travel anywhere in the Mideast and you will find a Koran in the room, and often a directional arrow in the bedstand drawer pointing the way towards Mecca. It would be very funny if anyone ever complained to the hotel management about their having been offended by these articles in their hotel room.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Religion is important to many people, Frank.

      I think that the issue is basically that a lodging company might be perceived as proselytizing to its guests in favor of one particular religion; but as I have said, I personally have never been offended by the presence of religious materials or inferences in a hotel room.

  2. Frank says:

    Ah, yes, BRIAN. The point I was trying to make is that religion is important to many people! Imagine the reaction from hotel management in the Mideast should a smug, self-absorbed/oblivious Westerner run up to a hotel’s front desk to let them know how they were “offended” by a copy of the Koran in their room? Realistically, only someone with an ax to grind would consider such placement to be proselytizing in any hotel worldwide. A Bible/Book of Mormon/Koran is an inanimate object, and hardly offensive.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I believe we are generally in agreement, Frank.

      Thank you.

  3. LS says:

    I don’t really care much either way, but it’s always seemed a little odd to me that hotels would provide religious literature in the first place; they’re places to sleep, not places of worship. I’d think that anyone religious enough to want a holy text while traveling would just bring one of their own, and if not, what’s the point of putting it there? I have a hard time thinking that many people converted because they were bored/stuck in their hotel room with nothing to do but read the Bible.

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