The Slovak Trade Inspectorate (SOI) confirmed that by refusing to accommodate the Turkish students and their friends, the Bratislava-based hotel discriminated against them, Bratislava SOI head Ľubomír Opálka confirmed for the Pravda daily.
The facility Stella Appartments is operated by an older couple that does not speak English and uses an internet translator for communication. The hotel owners say they feel sorry for the incident and promised to apologise to the refused guests. The inspectors, however, revealed also other flaws during the check.
Inspectors, together with representatives of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights on August 4 checked on the accomodation involved. “The operator of the hotel refused through the booking.com system to accommodate persons from Turkey which constitutes discrimination when rendering services to consumers,” Ľubomír Opálka added.
Moreover, inspectors discovered some more flaws during the inspection. “The accommodation facility was not marked in compliance with the law, the trade name, first name and surname of the person responsible for the operation of the facility were missing, as well as the category and class of accommodation,” Opálka explained. “No license for operating the facility has been issued by a public health officer; an administration proceeding will be launched, aimed at imposing a fine.” He specified that the boarding house faces a fine of up to €66,400.
Human rights centre to mediate deal
CEO of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights Marian Mesároš reminded of the fact that the way the boarding house reacted cannot be ignored. His colleagues went to do an inspection there, alerted by the claimed discrimination “The initial personal contact showed that there is will to communicate and they [at the hotel] are interested in agreeing on some form of satisfaction, Mesároš explained. “Our centre will write the concept of the official request. In the meantime, we will communicate with Turkish students about which form of satisfaction is acceptable for them; and then we will try to achieve it.”
He added that an apology will be necessary – and the married couple of owners from Bratislava agree with that. Apart from this, they will discuss with the students also about whether they require some non-material damage.
The Bratislava hotel refused to accommodate three students from Turkey who came to Slovakia within the Erasmus+ international programme and wanted to learn more about the country in advance.
8. Aug 2016 at 13:30 | Compiled by Spectator staff