Up to 10,000 hotels and B&Bs are expected to sign up to a new online database which will allow them to check guests’ credentials prior to taking bookings.
The subscription-based GuestScan network will enable them to check for known offenders, as well as name and shame guests for misdemeanours ranging from stealing towels to breaking things in rooms, such as TVs.
The network works along the same lines as credit card companies that blacklist people who default on their payments.
The database is the brainchild of British businessman Neil Campbell, who came up with the idea after a neighbour who owned a B&B suffered a “visitor from hell”.
Offenders can stay on the blacklist for between two and four years. Under the Data Protection Act, those placed on the list have a right to appeal.
GuestScan is the first database of its kind to be launched in the UK, although a similar scheme called Guests Behaving Badly was launched in Australia in 2007.
Insurance company More Than said there had been three million cases of guest-related property damage at British hotels over the past five years, and 80 percent of guests admitted to having stolen from hotels.
This includes some £5 million worth of bathrobes, 336,000 beds broken and 300,000 television sets destroyed.