The presence of Bibles and other religious materials in hotel rooms around the world has decreased notably in recent years. And it turns out there are many reasons behind the trend.
New data from STR shows that just 79 percent of U.S. hotels offer in-room religious material this year, compared to 95 percent as recently as 2006. Before you go blaming millennials, who tend to be less religious than older generations, listen to industry experts, including Marriott spokeswoman Felicia Farrar McLemore.
McLemore told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month that the reduction in Bibles in rooms is "because the religious books don't fit the personality of the brands," referring to Marriott's Moxy and Edition hotels.
In addition to the fact hotels want to give their guests what they want (or avoid giving them what they don't want in this case) many of today's more modern brands lack the traditional nightstand drawer space to store regilious material offerings without having them out in the open.
Moreover, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has reached out to a plethora of major hotel companies encouraging them to offer Bible-free rooms.
[READMORE] READ MORE: FFRF Urges Hotel Companies to Remove Bible from Rooms [/READMORE]
"Many of your guests are freethinkers - atheists, agnostics, skeptics or Nones - who are offended to be charged high fees only to be proselytized in the privacy of their own bedrooms, to be told, for instance, that they are 'fools' who can do no good (Psalm 14:1)," the non-profit organization wrote in a letter to 15 hotel companies last year.
While many travelers likely aren't losing sleep over this trend, those who are concerned can take solace in the fact some hotels are getting creative with their replacements.
What's more, the decline of in-room Bibles and other religious material has coincided with the encouraging rise in Wi-Fi availability.
Removing Bibles from guestrooms may not be necessary, but as guests' priorities change over time, hotels are wise to adapt. With Internet service becoming the top priority for business and leisure travelers alike in 2016, it's clear they have.
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