Marriott halts free newspaper delivery as travellers go online

Marriott International is cutting its free newspaper deliver to guest across its US hotels due to falling demand.

As business travellers switch to reading news on their laptops and phones, demand for free newspapers delivered to Marriott’s 2,600 hotels has tumbled by a quarter.The group’s withdrawal of the service is expected to cut the number of papers it provides by 18m copies annually. It will now ask guests at its full-service hotel chains whether they want USA Today, the Wall Street Journal. At other chains customers will have to pick up their copies from the lobby.

“I visit more than 250 hotels a year, and more often than not, I’m stepping over unclaimed newspapers as I walk down the hallway,” said JW Marriott Jr, chairman and chief executive told the Financial Times.

The changes would cost USA Today about 3 per cent of its circulation, a spokeswoman for the title estimated.

New circulation figures due on April 27 are expected to show a slump in business travel had begun to hurt USA Today’s circulation even before Marriott’s announcement.