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Travelodge of England has become the first hotel chain to remove Bibles from its guest rooms, a move that has sparked concern from Christians. According to Travelodge, the decision was made in 2007 in an effort to make the hotel more accessible to a diverse group of travelers.
“This decision was based on customer research and the fact that we live in a multicultural society. Therefore in order not to discriminate against any religion, customers who would like a Bible can pick a copy from any one of Travelodge’s 500 hotel reception desks across the country, whilst staying at the hotel,” the company said in a statement.
But the Daily Mail reports that one Travelodge in Battersea did not even supply a Bible at the reception desk. When one hotel guest requested to borrow a copy, the desk attendant suggested that the guest use the hotel’s free internet to read it online. The branch manager later confirmed that the hotel Bibles had not been replaced since the branch was refurbished last year.
The Church of England expressed its regret for the situation saying, “[It is] both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word ‘diversity.’”
Travelodge maintains that it has not received any customer complaints regarding the decision.
Publication date: August 18, 2014