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Julia Rahman

Study of Theft in Hotels – Which Items are stolen the Most

By | 2019

By: Dr. Tassilo Keilmann
Wellness Heaven Hotel Guide

Stealing soaps or pens seems harmless for many hotel guests however some, are so bold that they carry TVs, pianos, mattresses or even stuffed animals out of the hotel. Wellness Heaven has asked 1,157 hoteliers which items are most commonly stolen. In particular, we observe a striking difference in the theft behaviour between guests in 4-star and 5-star hotels.

The main result of the study: the overwhelming majority of guests steal towels and bathrobes perhaps as goodie for the next spa break? These two objects of desire are closely followed by hangers, pens and cutlery. In addition to these “ordinary” items, there are a number of spectacular outliers that suggest a brisk imagination of the delinquents:

The most bizarre stolen goods:

Bathroom Fittings

Highly skilled craftsmanship was required of those guests who managed to steal bathroom fixtures, the head of a rain shower, a hydro-massage shower, a toilet seat, a drainpipe or even an entire sink, as reported by a Berlin hotel.

Grand Piano

A hotelier from Italy: “Once I walked through the lobby, I noticed that something was missing, and soon after I learned that three unknown men in overalls had taken away the grand piano, and it never reappeared, of course.”

Room Numbers

In a hotel in England a guest had unceremoniously removed the numbers from his hotel room door. “We didn’t notice until the next guest could not find his room”, the hotel director declares.

Stuffed Hunting Trophies

In a hotel in France, a guest was caught trying to steal a stuffed boar’s head. At a later date, he did receive this trophy: friends bought the precious piece from the hotel and gave it to him as a wedding gift.

Sauna Benches

In a hotel near Salzburg, the wooden benches from a sauna were stolen. The “private sauna” was located on the terrace of a spa suite. The benches were made of fragrant pine wood, which probably stirred up the guest’s desire. Only when a subsequent guest criticized the absence of the benches (“Where should I sit in the sauna? I can’t relax while standing.”), the hotelier noticed the theft.

HiFi System

A hotel owner from Germany reports on how the entire stereo system of the spa area disappeared: Thieves had apparently dismantled the entire sound equipment overnight and loaded it in their car before they left.


The management of a resort in the Maldives reports that it buys new flower arrangements several times a week to replace the missing ones. Maybe the demand for flowers is simply too high due to the many marriage proposals?

Thieving Preferences by Nationality

When classifying the delinquents by nationality, a different picture emerges. It turns out, for example, that German and British hotel guests follow a rather boring theft behavior: In addition to towels and bathrobes, primarily cosmetics and toiletries are in the focus.

In contrast, Austrians snitch in a more pleasure-oriented way: dishes and coffee machines appear high up in their theft ranking. It seems they cannot get enough to satisfy their thirst for coffee. For US Americans, pillows and batteries appear as the prime objects of desire.

Italians seem to prefer wine glasses as a hotel souvenir, while the hair dryer ranks high up in the Swiss ranking. The French, on the other hand, steal in a more spectacular manner: they represent the nation that is attracted mainly to TV sets and remote controls.

Dutch hotel guests see in their souvenirs above all the practical benefit: Their favorites include light bulbs and toilet paper.

Guests of 5-star Hotels Prefer Expensive Items

A total of 634 hoteliers from 4-star hotels and 523 from 5-star hotels were surveyed to determine the behavior of thieves depending on their wealth. As it turns out, “Greed is good” seems to be a reliable motto especially for the well-heeled 5-star clientele.

The probability of high-quality TV sets being stolen in 5-star hotels, is 9 times higher in comparison to the 4-star segment. Similarly, artworks are popular objects of desire in luxury hotels (5.5 times higher theft probability). Tablet computers and mattresses are also being stolen a lot more frequently in 5-star hotels.

Four-star hotel guests are content with less spectacular gifts: towels and hangers tend to be in higher demand than in 5-star hotels. The typical 4-star hotel guest is especially fond of practical items such as batteries and remote controls (theft probability 3.1 and 4.9 times higher, respectively).


The coffeemaker, which is so popular among Austrian guests, is also sought-after by luxury-minded 5-star guests, as we observe a 5.3-fold increase in theft statistics.

Toilet Paper

Hoteliers’ theft reports about toilet paper rolls only reach us from the 4-star segment. For luxury travellers, there seems to be no additional need for hygiene in this area.

Tablet Computers

Tablet computers, often referred to as “SuitePads” in the high-priced room categories, are stolen 8.2 times more frequently in 5-star hotels. Such tablets usually have a value of approx. 420 euros and tend to be a popular souvenir among luxury travelers.

Luxury Mattresses

Even expensive luxury mattresses (often worth several thousand Euros) are not immune to disappear: the probability for their theft is 8.1 times higher in 5-star hotels. How exactly do the bulky goods, are transported unnoticed out of the hotel remains a mystery. On request, some hoteliers informed us that this only happens in the middle of the night – using elevators which lead directly to the underground parking.


To complete their sleeping experience at home, some luxury oriented guests add the hotel’s blanket to their luggage. Theft of this object is 3.9-fold increased in 5-star hotels.


On the methodology of this survey: The multiple-choice answers were randomised, multiple answers were possible. For example “Towels” in Fig. 1: 77.5% of surveyed hoteliers have indicated that towels were stolen at their hotel. The survey was conducted in September and October 2019.

A total of 1,157 responses were evaluated, the result can be considered as representative. The 1,157 hotels whose management participated in the survey are located primarily in Europe. 634 hoteliers were surveyed in the 4-star segment, and 523 in the 5-star segment.

Singapore Chosen as Host City for the Inaugural of IBTM Asia Pacific in 2020 – An Expected 3,000 Meeting Planners and Exhibitors to Attend the Event

By | 2019

IBTM Asia Pacific, part of IBTM’s global portfolio of meetings and events industry trade shows, will hold its inaugural Asia Pacific event in Singapore, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre in 2020. As the region’s vibrant hub for the meetings and events market, Singapore was selected as the host city for the very first edition of the show. The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will partner IBTM Asia Pacific to curate thematic tours, local experiences and networking opportunities for hosted buyers. This will take place before and during IBTM Asia Pacific, which will be held from April 6 to 8, 2020.

Together with IBTM Asia Pacific, STB will host interested buyers for a pre-event familiarisation tour, taking place on April 4 and 5, before IBTM Asia Pacific commences. The tour will showcase interesting local experiences and new, unique venue offerings for business events. In addition, STB will offer complimentary tours, on a first-come-first-served basis, on the evenings of the show days from April 6 and 7 for interested buyers to discover a range of experiences in dining, nightlife and entertainment, or to participate in innovation tours in Singapore. Hosted buyers are invited to reach out to IBTM to register their interest.

Nick Pilbeam, divisional director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, commented: “As a group, Reed Exhibitions has a long-standing and much valued working relationship with the Singapore Tourism Board. I’m absolutely delighted that we have cemented that through this partnership for IBTM Asia Pacific. Strategically, the event is a key addition to IBTM’s, and indeed the Group’s portfolio, and is an exciting new addition to the industry calendar for the region’s business events market.”

Singapore Tourism Board’s executive director, Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel, Dr Edward Koh said, “We are delighted that IBTM Asia Pacific has chosen Singapore as the destination for its inaugural Asia Pacific edition. As a global hub, Singapore has unrivalled connectivity to the region and also offers strong infrastructure and MICE expertise for meeting planners and exhibitors who are looking to host their event here. We look forward to welcoming the attendees to Singapore in April next year and also invite them to experience our vibrant lifestyle offerings through familiarisation tours and networking events.”

IBTM Asia Pacific will bring together a high calibre group of international, Asia Pacific and local meeting planners and exhibitors for two days of pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings, education and networking. The event will be under-pinned by IBTM’s sophisticated, industry-leading Hosted Buyer programme which creates personalised appointment diaries for Hosted Buyers and exhibitors to ensure that delegates only meet people with whom there’s a very good chance of doing business.

For more information, or to register interest, visit:


ICCA increases footprint in China at Xiamen International MICE Week

By | 2019
From left to right:  Qiu Guoyue, Xiamen ITG MICE Group; Senthil Gopinath, ICCA; Jeoven Wong, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention & Exhibition Affairs; Noor Hamid, ICCA Asia Pacific; Huang Xiuyun, C&D Global Tourism Group


ICCA was invited to attend Xiamen International MICE Week by three of its members: the Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention & Exhibition Affairs, C&D Global Tourism Group and ITG MICE Group. This is the first time ICCA held a Global Executive meeting in a city outside its Head Office in Amsterdam.

Chief executive officer Senthil Gopinath and the Management Team met in Xiamen during the 5th edition of the 2019 International MICE Week to hold ICCA’s Global Executives Round Table Conference.  At the same time, ICCA welcomed new members from Xiamen and signed an MOU to increase further collaboration.

Since 2016 when Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention & Exhibition Affairs joined ICCA, the city’s convention bureau has established a close relationship with ICCA. ICCA’s director Asia Pacific Noor Hamid for example, has visited Xiamen for training and knowledge exchange and, in October of this year, the general director of the city’s convention bureau, Jeoven Wong led a delegation from Xiamen to participate in the 58th ICCA Congress in Houston, USA.

China currently is the country with the most ICCA members of 84 organisation strong. The number continues to grow with ICCA welcoming new member Shaanxi Meton Conference and Exhibition Management LTD.


Left: Representatives of Xiamen and ICCA met in Xiamen during the Xiamen International MICE Week

Lights on for AIME 2020

By | 2019

Inspired by the 2020 theme of ‘the power of human connections’, the AIME team has partnered with SolarBuddy an Australian registered charity that provides solar powered lights to children in third world countries.

SolarBuddy was the first charity in the world to supply donated solar lights directly to children, and has educated over 130,000 students in over 500 schools, across 21 countries. Its mission is to help improve the educational opportunities of six million children living in energy poverty throughout South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa by 2030 through providing them SolarBuddy to study with after dusk.

So how does it work at AIME 2020?

Delegates will be tasked with building SolarBuddy from scratch. The lights made during the 2020 event, will give guests the opportunity to create something meaningful, while connecting and building relationships with one another for charity.



Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park of Ainu Culture and Heritage – First of its Kind in Japan

By | 2019

Scheduled to be opened in April next year, the museum and park which are set against the natural surroundings of Lake Poroto in Hokkaido, will showcase the custom and tradition of the Ainu tribe that has been officially recognised by the Japanese government as an indigenous people of the country.

Upopoy which is the name given to the museum is an Ainu term that means singing in a large group.  The mission of the museum is to bring people together to understand and learn about Ainu culture and history.

When completed, the museum and park will house a hall with exhibitions on display aided by audio and visual presentation on the Ainu people.  Adjacent is a park on a site of about 10 hectres that includes an open-air museum where you can actually experience the traditional life of the Ainu people through the reproduction of a settlement on the shore of Lake Poroto.

You can easily spend a day at Upopoy viewing the exhibits and enjoying the scenery and outdoor sights.

Eventually the Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park in Shiraoi will becomea base for Ainu culture and tradition.  Currently information on the Ainu people can be found in several smaller museums and cultural centres across Hokkaido.

The Ainu people are to be found in Shiraoi, a town that is also a tourist destination with its sea, lakes, rivers, forests and hot springs.  The town is keen on preserving the culture of its inhabitants, the Ainu and the Upopoy National Museum and Park, which is fully funded by the Japanese government, will keep alive the heritage of the Ainu people.

Falling Leaves at Hokkaido University in Saporro City

By | 2019

One of Japan’s leading universities, the Hokkaido University is not only an institute of higher learning, but also known for its ginkgo tree lined avenue.  Visitors from all over the world come to walk along the road of rows of these trees to admire the autumn foliage.

The university commonly known as Hokudai is located in the city centre and near to the Sapporo Station.  A vast site, the campus ground includes several school buildings and forests covering about 660 per square kilometres which are used for research.

Part of the university grounds resembles a national park with huge trees, and are open to the public.  In spring there will be colourful cherry blossoms – fresh green plants and blue skies in summer – ginkgo trees with falling leaves in autumn – and in winter, you can enjoy the snow.

Brand USA and United Airlines Sign Global Sponsorship Agreement

By | 2019

Brand USA, the destination marketing organisation for the United States, and United Airlines announced a three-year global sponsorship agreement to promote international travel across the United States.

The agreement makes United Airlines an official Global Airline Sponsor of Brand USA and the exclusive airline sponsor of Brand USA’s next IMAX® film, “Into America’s Wild”, which premieres in February 2020.

While the film takes international audiences on a journey across the United States through its scenic byways, ancient homelands, little known trails, and hidden gems that form the country’s natural tapestry. “Into America’s Wild” features the country’s greatest outdoor experiences from kayaking Oregon’s stunning coast, to traversing majestic canyons in the Southwest, exploring the wilds of Alaska, walking the Appalachian Trail and more.

“Our sponsorship with United Airlines grew out of our mutual passion for sharing America’s treasures with the international travel community. Together, we are determined to find creative solutions that impact global travel to the United States,” said Christopher Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Brand USA. “Travel decisions are increasingly influenced by entertaining content and compelling stories. With no shortage of narratives, Brand USA and United Airlines have the right resources and marketing innovation to elevate the position of the U.S. in the worldwide travel sector.”

IBTM Announces First Exhibitor Signings for New Asia Pacific Event Trade Show

By | 2019

Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism New Zealand, Malaysia Convention Bureau, Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, UNECA and Genting Cruises are among the first major names to be confirmed as exhibitors.

Dream Cruises, a member of Genting Cruise Lines, will host the event’s closing party at the Zouk Beach Club on board the award-winning Genting Dream cruise ship, which homeports year-round in Singapore.

IBTM Asia Pacific has partnered with premium remote interpreting cloud-based platform Interprefy, which as well as exhibiting, will empower the event’s theatre spaces with remote simultaneous interpreting. Interprefy will also provide a silent PA system to help reduce noise pollution, thereby enhancing the delegate experience.

Michael Jones, event manager for IBTM Asia Pacific, commented: “We’re delighted to announce the first exhibitor signings for what we are confident will fast become an unmissable event on the industry calendar. We’re performing ahead of target on sales and not only do we have some incredibly high calibre exhibitors from within the region, but also exhibitors from further afield who are looking to do business with Asia Pacific event planners. We have a very strong sales pipeline and will be announcing more news in the coming weeks.”

IBTM Asia Pacific will bring together a high calibre group of international, APAC regional and local meeting planners and exhibitors for two days of pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings, education and networking. The event will be underpinned by IBTM’s sophisticated, industry-leading Hosted Buyer programme, which creates personalised appointment diaries for Hosted Buyers and exhibitors to ensure that delegates only meet people with whom there’s a very good chance of doing business.

Michael continues: “The team is working hard behind the scenes on the Hosted Buyer programme, as well as to finalise details of the education and networking programmes. Anticipation is huge ahead of this first edition of IBTM Asia Pacific and we’re excited to share further details in due course.”

The marketing and Hosted Buyer programme, which supports the success of every IBTM event, is well underway and is being managed by the experienced existing team based in Richmond, London, supported by Reed Exhibition’s teams in Singapore, China, Middle East, Japan, Korea and America.

The event will take place from April 6 to 8 April 2020 in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

For more information, or to register interest, visit:

Meeting Mean Business Canada Launches Video Advocacy Campaign

By | 2019

Aligned with the Meeting Mean Business Canada (MMBC) deliverables for 2019, the coalition has officially launched its “Telling our Story” campaign. The campaign consists of one 4-minute video and 11 vignettes, all of which are focused around the importance of the meetings and events industry to the Canadian economy and the impact that it has on the global economy too.

Speaking about why the coalition created the series of videos, Heidi Welker, Chair Meetings Mean Business Canada commented “One of the 2019 goals was to develop a communications plan around “Telling our Story”. The committee, chaired by Debbie van der Beek, took this task very seriously and created some amazing video content. Phase 1 of the plan focused on Government Influence,” said Welker.

“Our goal with these videos is to communicate the significant economic impact that the meeting and business events sector has on our country as well as on a global stage. It’s time for government officials and fellow Canadians to learn and recognize the importance of this industry on the economy and jobs. The meetings and business events industry will become an industry as recognized as the automotive, manufacturing or agriculture sector. The videos created a focus on sectors where Canada is a leader and the importance that meetings and business events have, in order to advance their sectors. It was truly a labour of love,” said Van der Beek.

All of the videos are available for download from the toolkit page on the MMBC website.

Brand USA Led U.S Contingent at Southeast Asian Travel Trade Marketplace

By | 2019

The destination marketing organisation for the United States is the nation’s first public-private partnership to promote United States.  Brand USA has had a marketing presence in Southeast Asia since 2013 through its local representation of BRANDSTORY Inc.  For the seventh consecutive year, it has hosted an exhibition space at the ITB Asia in Singapore.

Its marketing promotion is to introduce United States by way of entertainment of which America is well known for.  Through its mobile giant screen strategy, it engages viewers to stories that drive interest in travelling throughout United States. The mobile giant screen shows international travellers what the U.S. has to offer in terms of travel experiences.

Following the success of their previous two films, Brand UAS launched its third giant-screen film ‘Into America’s Wild’ in collaboration with MacGillivray Freeman Films.  The film follows trailblazers John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, and Alaskan pilot Ariel Tweto on a cross-country journey to explore the USA’s great outdoor wonders.  The film is scheduled to premiere in February 2020.

There has also been a series of developments on the aviation front for travelling to United States from Asia:  Singapore Airlines added a non-stop flight from Singapore to New York and Los Angeles; Vietnam Airlines is licensed to fly from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York Seattle and Dallas; Garuda Indonesia to operate flights from Jakarta to Los Angeles via Japan; Cathay Pacific four-times weekly from Hong Kong to Seattle and Washington; and Philippine Airlines non-stop between Manila and New York.

In Singapore, Brand USA collaborated with U.S. embassies and the U.S. Commercial Service to arrange a series of trade events at ITB Asia, which afforded opportunities for U.S. exhibitors to meet with prominent Southeast Asian tour operators, travel buyers and media representatives.

At the same time, the marketing organisation distributed USA Insider Guides that feature regional self-drive itineraries that take travellers off-the-beaten tracks around United States covering themes such as  musical journey, national parks and beyond.