U.S. dollars used for scrap paper at European hotels

It’s no secret that the U.S. economy has hit a bit of a rough stretch recently. The U.S. dollar has been a victim of this economic downturn, hitting record lows against the Euro and the Yen. This has been particularly tough on international travelers to Europe, who are finding their money doesn’t go quite as far as it used to. Some recent news, however, has me wondering just how bad things might get for U.S. visitors to Europe. As a recent article from the A.P. indicates, some hotel chains in Europe are finding it cheaper to use U.S. currency as scrap paper for their guests.

According to the piece, a number of hotels throughout Europe including several chains in Germany, France and Belgium have already made the switch and have been pleased with the decision. Apparently, the hotels are finding that guests appreciate the novelty of the gesture and are also seeing benefits in their bottom line as well. Jacques Funnez-Monet, chairman of the Parisian Hotel Association, pointed out that many European hotel chains see the decision to creatively reuse the dollar as a win-win situation for everyone. As Funnez-Monet indicated, “The money we are saving on paper allows our hotels to provide added benefits for our guests, like extra in-room bidets.”

Certainly dismaying news for American visitors to Europe. But look on the bright side – perhaps it’s an opportunity to pick up a unique souvenir on your next trip to Paris.