If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel room, you might have noticed a small book in the drawer beside your bed. This book is usually a copy of the Bible, and it’s found in most hotel rooms worldwide. But have you ever wondered why hotels have Bibles? This article will explore the history and reasons behind this practice.

History of Hotel Bibles

The tradition of placing Bibles in hotel rooms dates back to the 19th century. The Gideons International, a Christian organization, began distributing free Bibles to hotels in 1908. The Gideons’ mission was to make the Bible available to as many people as possible, and they saw hotel rooms as an untapped audience.


Over time, placing Bibles in hotel rooms became widespread, and it’s now considered a standard feature in many hotels. However, not all hotels have Bibles; some have replaced them with other books or removed them altogether.

Why Do Hotels Have Bibles?

There are several reasons why hotels have Bibles, and they vary depending on the hotel’s values and traditions. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  1. Tradition

As mentioned earlier, placing Bibles in hotel rooms has been a tradition for over a century. Some hotels continue to do so simply because it’s part of their history and culture.

  1. Comfort and Support

For many people, traveling can be stressful and overwhelming. Having a Bible in their hotel room can provide comfort and support during difficult times. It can also be a source of inspiration and guidance.

  1. Ethics and Values

Some hotels see the Bible as a representation of their ethics and values. By providing a Bible in each room, they signal guests that they share certain beliefs and principles.

  1. Marketing

Believe it or not, having a Bible in a hotel room can be a marketing strategy. Some hotels cater to a religious demographic and use the presence of a Bible to attract those guests.

  1. Respect for Religious Diversity

While the Bible is a Christian text, many hotels also provide religious texts from other faiths. This demonstrates respect for the religious diversity of their guests.


In conclusion, the tradition of placing Bibles in hotel rooms dates back to the early 20th century, and it has become a standard feature in many hotels. The reasons for doing so vary, from tradition and comfort to ethics and marketing. At the same time, not all hotels have Bibles, those that do often see it as a way to provide comfort and support to guests and signal their values and beliefs.

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