Gideon Bibles in Hotel Rooms
One hotel amenity you could always count on was a Gideon Bible tucked into the nightstand drawer. These Bibles are distributed free to hotels by a nonprofit organization called Gideon International. But according to a survey by hospitality analytics company STR, only 48 percent of U.S. hotels were carrying the books in 2016, a whopping 47 percent drop from 2006, when 95 percent of hotels featured them. STR cautions that only 2,600 of the 8,000-plus hotels surveyed responded, so people shouldn't be too quick to deduce hotel-room Bibles are on the way out. But many in the know say they definitely are [source: Fox News].
Younger Americans are less devout, for one thing, and the world overall is more secular. There is also more awareness about the other world religions, such as Islam and Buddhism; many hotel managers don't wish to offend someone of another faith by having a Bible in the room.
Marriott International, the largest hotel company in the world, is in on the trend. Marriott's founder was a faithful Mormon, and the brand's hotels always carried both a Bible and the Book of Mormon in its rooms.
Recently, however, the company opted to leave religious materials out of its new Moxy and Edition brands, as those are aimed at Millennials. In a similar move, Travelodge removed Bibles from its hotels in Britain two years ago, to ensure travelers of other faiths didn't feel discriminated against [sources: Fox News, Martin]. If you enjoy perusing Biblical verses when you travel, you'll have to remember to bring your own.