Most of the hotel chains have checked out of the bible business in the recent years including Hilton, IHG and Hyatt. These chains don’t require hotels to carry religious scripts, although hotel managers are free to include them if it fits their market.
Marriott, however, requires that all of its managed and franchised hotels excluding EDITION, Moxy, W and Design Hotels have both the bible and the Book of Mormon in every hotel room.
Here’s an excerpt from the Associated Press story (access their piece here):
Marriott, whose namesake founding family is active in the Mormon church, has been putting both the Bible and the Book of Mormon in its rooms since opening its first hotel in the late 1950s. Like most major chains, Marriott doesn’t own the majority of its hotels. However, it stands out from the other companies by requiring — in franchise or licensing agreements — its 6,500 properties to have the books in each room.
It’s not a policy Marriott relishes discussing. The company declined to make an executive available to comment, but issued a statement to The Associated Press: “There are many guests who are not digitally connected who appreciate having one or both of these books available. It’s a tradition appreciated by many, objected to by few.”
But according to Marriott’s statement to Chicago Tribute, brands that are frequented by fun loving millennials won’t see them (access their piece here):
“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.
You would think that Aloft brand would have been excluded as well. Same demographics as Moxy?
Same piece from 2016 refers to STR that many hotels have checked out from the bible business in the US:
But 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.
A friend of mine, Neil, made the following comment after learning that bibles/Book of Mormons are being pushed to Starwood brands by Marriott:
Frankly, I find it creepy and would avoid any hotel pushing religion. I think it’s an indication of how conservative and out of touch Marriott is and another reason their “culture clash” merger with Starwood will not be as successful as they hope.
Marriott has said one thing about embracing Starwood’s brands and doing everything they can to make their elite members happy, yet have silently made several steps to the contrary – these bibles being a small, but telling example of the culture clash.
This just proves how out of touch with times and market Marriott is.
Their top priority appears not to have a working website/app or solve all the issues that we have been reporting here all week. But they want to make sure that all 300,000 Starwood rooms have both the Bible and Book or Mormon promptly in the drawer.
Marriott is a public company with diverse ownership. Why wouldn’t they want to cater to all religious beliefs and to those who with no set beliefs at all? I see no reason to have religious material in the rooms.
I am not sure if there has been any change in the recently, but when I discussed about this issue with one Marriott hotel manager, he told me that they can only order the Vible or the Book of Mormon from the fulfillment centre. No other religious scriptures were available.