Marriott is unique among the major hotel chains, in that they have the Bible and Book of Mormon bedside at every one of their hotels worldwide (except in Muslim countries). That probably has to do with the company’s roots, though at the same time there’s no denying that Marriott has evolved a lot over the years.
That’s why it’s interesting to note that Marriott is slowly changing their requirements regarding religious materials in hotels. Marriott will no longer offer religious materials at Moxy and Edition hotels, which are two of their millennial-oriented hotel brands.
Here’s the explanation, per the Los Angeles Times:
“It’s because the religious books don’t fit the personality of the brands,” said Marriott spokeswoman Felicia Farrar McLemore, explaining that the Moxy and Edition hotels are geared toward fun-loving millennials.
This represents a larger trend, as throughout the U.S. the percentage of hotels with religious materials in rooms has apparently dropped from 95% to 48% over the past decade, at least based on surveys. What’s the reason for this change?
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.
And then there is this practical issue: 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.
It’s certainly an interesting trend, and if anything I’m surprised so many hotels still offer Bibles. I don’t remember the last time I saw one, though at the same time I don’t remember the last time I opened a nightstand. 😉
What do you make of Marriott dropping the Bible requirement at their millennial hotels? Do you think hotels should have religious reading materials, or no?