A Chinese traveler has accused a Beijing youth hostel of discrimination, after staff refused to honor his booking, saying that foreigners and Chinese citizens are not allowed to share the same dormitory.
The man, surnamed Liu, from Wuhan, Hubei Province, posted an angry video on Sina Weibo Monday, showing his argument with a staff member from Dragons House Xinmao Hostel in Dongcheng district on Sunday.
"I booked on website hostelbookers.com over 10 days ago, and I did get a confirmation letter for four beds in an eight-person dorm room," Liu said.
A 24-year-old receptionist, surnamed Xie, from Dragons House said that they accepted the reservation but did not allow Liu and his friends, including a woman, to stay.
"He booked online, and we thought he was a foreigner," Xie said.
The receptionist who was on duty on Sunday, a man surnamed Song, said they are following rules laid down by Dongcheng district police that say Chinese and foreign travelers cannot stay in the same room.
"We took two of them to a nearby hostel and they stayed there," Song said.
Police could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Liu said he had often stayed in hostels with foreigners in a number of Chinese cities, including Qingdao, Shandong Province and Pingyao, Shanxi Province.
"By staying with young guys from different countries, I can chat with them and I learn a lot," he said.
There does not appear to be any uniform practice when it comes to checking in guests in the capital's budget hostels.
Discovery Hostel in Chaoyang district said unacquainted men and women cannot stay in the same room, whether they are Chinese or foreign.
"If they know each other and pay for all beds, they can," the receptionist said, adding that they do this according to experience. Another Chaoyang hostel, Beijing Lanting, said that Chinese and foreign people can stay together, so long as they have correct identification.
A Haidian district hostel, Heyuan International Hostel, meanwhile said that they segregate according to sex, rather than nationality, while the Drum Tower Hostel, in Xicheng district, said only foreign men and women can stay together, which is regulated by the police.
"Chinese are not allowed, even if they know each other," the male receptionist said.