According to a recent survey by, Denmark has the highest percentage of honest hotel guests. For many hotels, amenities are becoming a bit of a Catch-22 for them. You see the more plush or attractive hotels make their amenities, the more likely it is that guests will want to “take them” home with them.

For meeting planners, while it’s not directly their responsibility, guest room theft does play a role in establishing room rates. So for planners that are executing meetings and events in hotels, it does help to discourage people from taking items home. The more that can be done to keep attrition at a minimum, the more opportunity there is to keep room rates reasonable.

Hotel Management Are Becoming Proactive with Their Amenities

Attrition is an important component to a hotel’s operating budget. Property theft has become such a common occurrence for hotels that they even have an acceptable percentage that they incorporate into their budgeting. It’s not that they are simply turning a blind eye to the problem, rather they have determined a mathematical breakeven point for addressing the situation.

Some hotels have turned a negative into a positive. Have you ever been in a guest room and have seen a card that says; if you like your bathrobe, towel etc. please feel free to take it and will just add “X” dollars to your room bill upon departure. Personally, I think this is a brilliant strategy. First of all, it tells me that the amenities that they are providing might be worth actually keeping. And, secondly, it addresses the temptation properly. Basically, the hotel chain is saying; we know you”re going to love our amenities so much that you want to take them home with you. So go right ahead and take them and will make it so convenient that will just add the cost to your bill.

Certain Hotel Items Seem to Be More Popular Than Others

Magazines and books are the most common items that are taking from guest rooms. After that, it seems that people like the linens and towels. From the survey, people in China seem to be interested in the furnishings (just how they would get those through the lobby is beyond me).

The US ranks 23rd in honesty, out of 29 countries included in the survey. The following chart breaks down the honesty of each country’s hotel guests and which items are most often taken within those countries.

Hotel honesty by country, survey by

Click here to read additional information from the survey.

Guest room amenities have become sought after items by many travelers. Hotel item theft, or attrition, does have an impact on a hotel’s operating expenses and therefore room rates. Many hotels have become proactive and have implemented post check out billing for items that have been taken or “gone missing”. Meeting planners also have a role in helping to reduce attrition by addressing it openly with their delegates.

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