Shocked but not surprised: Gul Panag has an interesting take on Indian tourists trying to steal from hotel

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A recent viral video showed a family of Indian tourists being called out and getting publicly shamed for stealing items from a hotel room, ostensibly, in Bali, Indonesia. They were caught with various items from the room including soaps, hand washers, hangers, earthen pots and even hair dryers. Until the hotel authorities threatened that they will be calling the cops, the family refused to accept that they stole the items. They went on to apologise and said they have a flight to catch.
Meanwhile, former Miss India and Gul Panag took to her Twitter page and shared a thread in which she wrote about how she was shocked but not surprised to see the Indian tourist theft video. She narrated several incidents as well.

Read on Gul’s Twitter thread below:

Was shocked but not surprised to see the Indian tourist theft video. Having interned at a hotel briefly, and then with lots of friends in the hospitality business, I’m privy to some pretty bizarre stuff. And then when you travel a lot and make friends with hotel folks- more so.”

Hotels expect that you’ll take bathroom supplies like soap, shampoo, etc, and I suppose it’s par for the course ( included in the tariff, etc). But if you’re well known ( famous type) it becomes a talking point. “You know so and so totally cleaned out ALL the freebies from his room”.

Not that it mattered. But I as 20-year-old ‘Miss India’ was terrified of being spoken of like that. I’d never take a thing. Make my bed and leave the bathroom presentable, and always insist the minibar be checked in my presence.

“Taking things” from hotels is actually pretty common, even among those who stay often. The flying crew are notorious. Of course, it’s always one or two rotten apples that give them that reputation. A hotel discontinued its lucrative contract with an airline because of such issues.

Because paintings hairdryers and wait for it DVD players were ‘taken’ !! And it’s not like the culprits were anonymous- even though they were on a company tab.

Another case- a hotel during routine repairs, found the carpet under the bed missing. It had been cut out. Over the next few weeks, many such rooms were found. On checking, it was found that one particular crew member over a 6-7 month period had stayed in each such room.

Then there are the ‘well-heeled’. I’ve often found hotel robes (the ones embroidered with hotel logo) and towels in their homes.

Another time, a star while on a long filming schedule, l unhappy at not being put up in the presidential suite by the producers, got himself upgraded to it saying he’d pay the difference. Checked out without doing so. A first-hand account from the head of housekeeping.

At a film festival, where we all were guests, meals were provided in a coffee shop – with the understanding that room service had to be paid by us. This actor, after 3 days, all meals room service, plus lots of entertaining in the room on tab, left without checking out.”

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