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Majority of guests pocket from rooms

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TripAdvisor’s latest Truth in Travel survey has revealed the majority of travellers don’t just grab their bags when they leave.

According to the TripBarometer Truth in Travel survey released this week, two-thirds (65%) of global travellers and over three-quarters (77%) of Aussies admit to taking something from a hotel following their stay, with toiletries being the most popular pilfered items.

Three in five (59%) global hoteliers and 61% of Australian hotel owners report that their guests often take a variety of items when they leave.

TripBarometer Truth in Travel infographic_AU

Ultimately, the survey reveals several discrepancies between what travellers say they take, compared to what hoteliers report missing from hotel rooms once guests depart.

Guests are more likely to admit taking items that are customarily thought of as complimentary such as toiletries or stationery. However it seems some travellers feel that the towels, light bulbs and batteries they find in their rooms are free for the taking as well.

Despite only 7% of global travellers saying they have taken towels from hotel rooms, an alarming one in four hoteliers report towels going missing following a guest’s stay.

Some travellers have peculiar ideas about what makes a good travel memento – one in 10 hoteliers report clothes hangers going missing and 7% have found the batteries removed from TV remote controls after guests check out.

TripAdvisor Items taken graph

Items travellers admit taking from hotels vs. what hotels report having been taken

When it comes to the key motivators for choosing an accommodation, travellers around the world love a freebie. Over the past year, traveller interest in complimentary amenities has gone up, reinforcing the idea that one of the best ways for hoteliers to entice guests is to offer free services as part of the daily rate.

TripAdvisor what travellers expect graph

What amenities global travellers expect from their accommodation in 2013 vs. 2014

The TripBarometer also revealed a few more minor discrepancies between what travellers say, and their actions while on holiday.

According to the survey, global travellers would like to experience things that are unique to a destination or culture, with 38% saying they want to explore another culture, 20% wanting to explore new food and 30% looking to experience something specific to the destination.

However, when it comes to choosing a place to stay, travellers want their accommodation to offer amenities that make them feel at home, such as ‘TV or film choices in their own language’ (31%) and ‘food from their own country’ (27%).

Aussies are far less fussy about food from their own country with only 17% stating they would expect their hotel to offer this as an option.

They do seem more genuinely enthusiastic about the local culture than the global average however, with 40% stating this as their primary reason for visiting a new destination followed by the desire to try new food (23%).

And hotels are answering the call! As a result of increasing numbers of guests from various destinations around the world, hoteliers have already, or are planning to, put in place a number of measures to address the needs of international visitors.

Fifty four per cent of global hotel respondents provide, or plan to provide TV or film selections in foreign languages and 51% include, or plan to include international food choices on their menus.

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