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Date: 19/05/2011

Hotels go hi-tech to clamp down on towel thieves

Many holidaymakers enjoying a stay in a top hotel on their single trip travel insurance like to bring a memento back of their time, such as an unused freebie with the hotel logo from the bathroom, or a soap or a matchbook from reception. However, some guests go too far and resort to stocking up on their linen supplies for their home by swiping hotel goods such as towels and bedsheets.

Hotels are now facing rising costs in replacing the supplies and with the cost of cotton rapidly increasing and the amount of robes, towels and sheets going astray varying between five and twenty per cent, the cost of constantly replacing the linen is substantial.

The culprits are notoriously difficult to identify, with hotel staff tending to be more suspicious of those clearly on a budget, such as a backpacker travel insurance holiday. However, with the guilty parties simply just stashing the linen in their suitcase, it is almost impossible for staff to track the hotel's goods down until it is too late. Until now.

Hotels are fighting back against the rising trend with the use of technology to alert staff when hotel property is about to be removed. Waterproof and washable tags are being inserted into the cloth which triggers an alarm if a guest tries to remove the goods from the hotel. Whilst this could potentially be embarrassing for guests on their single trip travel insurance break who have simply tried to use a hotel towel to take onto the beach, the technology is essential to help hotels battle against the rising bills.

The radio frequency chips last for around 300 washes and must be stitched into the cloth. The technology allows the goods to be tracked everywhere, which will give those on their backpacker travel insurance a break as staff will no longer be they will know exactly who is trying to pull a fast one.