Travelodge removes the Bible from every room: No one had complained… but chain ‘doesn’t want to discriminate.’
UK Daily Mail (h/t Ann) One of Britain’s biggest hotel chains has removed Bibles from its rooms to avoid upsetting non-Christians. The decision by Travelodge has been condemned as ‘tragic and bizarre’ by the Church of England, which says Bibles in hotel rooms are important to provide hope, comfort and inspiration to travelers.
But the chain, which runs 500 hotels, said the country was becoming increasingly multicultural and it had taken the action for ‘diversity reasons’. A Travelodge spokesman said: ‘The reason is because of diversity. With the country being increasingly multicultural, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to just have the Bible because there are people of other religions.
It said the policy was implemented ‘in order not to discriminate against any religion’ – despite having had no complaints from guests. Bibles were taken away at the same time as a refurbishment of its rooms, removing drawers where they were kept.
The Bibles, which were provided free by the Gideon Society, have been retained and are stored behind reception for guests to borrow on request, the company says. But it seems not all Travelodges even have Bibles available on request. At the branch in Battersea, south London, there was no Bible in the room or behind reception.
When requested, the receptionist could not find a copy and suggested using the hotel’s free wifi to ‘Google it and read it online’. When pushed for a hard copy, he rang his manager who told him they used to have them in rooms, but hadn’t had any at the hotel since refurbishment last year.
But other hotel firms, including Britain’s largest budget hotel company, Premier Inn, and InterContinental Hotels, owners of the Holiday Inn chain, say Bibles are being retained at their hotels. A Premier Inn spokesman said: ‘Bibles are available in Premier Inn rooms.