Guests are more likely to admit taking items that are customarily thought of as complimentary such as toiletries or stationery. However it seems some travellers feel that the towels, light bulbs and batteries they find in their rooms are free for the taking as well.
While two-thirds (65 per cent) of global travellers and 58 per cent of Indian travellers admit to taking something from a hotel following their stay, with toiletries being the most popular pilfered items, three in five (59 per cent) global hoteliers and 61 per cent of Indian hotel owners report that their guests often take a variety of items when they leave.
The TripBarometer Truth in Travel survey has revealed several discrepancies between what travellers say they take, compared to what hoteliers report missing from hotel rooms once guests depart.
Despite only 7 per cent of global travellers saying they have taken towels from hotel rooms, an alarming 1 in 4 hoteliers report towels going missing following a guest’s stay.
Some travellers have peculiar ideas about what makes a good travel memento – 1 in 10 hoteliers report clothes hangers going missing and 7 per cent have found the batteries removed from TV remote controls after guests check out.
“If it’s free, it’s for me”
When it comes to the key motivators for choosing an accommodation, travellers around the world love a freebie. Over the past year, traveller interest in complimentary amenities has gone up, reinforcing the idea that one of the best ways for hoteliers to entice guests is to offer free services as part of the daily rate.
“Culture vulture” or “creature comforts”?
According to the survey, global travellers would like to experience things that are unique to a destination or culture, with 38 per cent saying they want to explore another culture, 20 per cent wanting to explore new food and 30 per cent looking to experience something specific to the destination. However, when it comes to choosing a place to stay, travellers want their accommodation to offer amenities that make them feel at home, such as ‘TV or film choices in their own language’ (31 per cent) and ‘food from their own country’ (27 per cent).
Indians are especially keen on food from their own country with over half (53 per cent) stating they would expect their hotel to offer this as an option. They do seem more genuinely enthusiastic about the local culture than the global average however, with 41 per cent stating this as their primary reason for visiting a new destination followed by the desire to try new food (22 per cent).
And hotels are answering the call! As a result of increasing numbers of guests from various destinations around the world, hoteliers have already, or are planning to, put in place a number of measures to address the needs of international visitors. Fifty four percent of global hotel respondents provide, or plan to provide TV or film selections in foreign languages and 51 per cent include, or plan to include international food choices on their menus.