Friday, April 22, 2011

Think twice before nicking a towel

One of the many differences between hotels and motels is that guests are more likely to pilfer from a hotel than a motel. 

There are many reasons for this. Maybe guests feel a little more relaxed about souveniring items from a large corporate hotel entity than a smaller Ma and Pa motel? 

As with any rule of thumb there are exceptions and unfortunately motels that insist on placing tacky rate-boards on the curbside outside their property with sub-$100 tariff offers are targets for pilfering. Subliminally rateboards send out a message to potential guests that the offending motel is cheap, desperate, a little bit seedy and nicking amenities are commonplace (in fact it is almost expected!).

We were interested to read an article about hotels losing millions of dollars each year from guests walking away with items like robes, towels and bed linens. We were surprised to read that losses in any given month for a hotel, can be 5 to 20 per cent. An average motel in comparison would be unlucky to make a loss within that range over a year. A Honolulu hotel at the extreme end was reported as losing 4000 pool towels at cost of over USD$30,000 a month!  

A US company has invented a washable microchip that can be embedded into linen items. Individual items can be identified and tracked with a scanner that detects a radio frequency emitted from the chips.

While this technology is cool, it is frustrating that the articles does not give us a likely scenario of how guests are sprung?

Are hotel guests now required to walk through an airport style scanner before departure?

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