Hotels Offering Variety of Holy Books

July 10, 2003

Source: USA Today

On July 10, 2003 USA Today reported that "bucking a ubiquitous hotel industry tradition that dates back to 1908, the Borgata has nixed in-room Bibles in favor of stocking its lobby library with loaner editions of the Gideon Bible and 12 other religious texts, from Jehovah the First Godfather to the Bhagavad-Gita... And as the beleaguered hotel industry struggles to lure loyal guests,, the Borgata's ecumenical move could signal a trend, says Chekitan Dev, professor at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. The Gideon Bible has become 'an unwitting brand standard,' Dev says. 'The key is to give guests options. Along with a room-service menu, you could even offer a 'religion menu...' Marriott hotels, in a nod to the chain's Mormon founders, supplement the Bible with The Book of Mormon. The Society for the Promotion of Buddhism, founded by a wealthy Japanese industrialist in 1975, has placed gratis copies of The Teaching of Buddha in more than 2,300 hotels across the USA as part of a program that extends to 53 countries, spokesman Yosiaki Fujitani says... And when The Madison hotel re-opens this fall in Washington, D.C., each guestroom windowsill will have a decal pointing toward Mecca. The amenity is common in Middle Eastern hotels but rare here, says general manager Stephen Bello, whose stint in Dubai also has prompted him to offer prayer rugs on request."