Hotels told not to turn away foreign guests

2024-05-29 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's authorities recently emphasized that hotels must not refuse to accommodate foreign nationals on the grounds that they lack the capacity to process related paperwork.

They were responding to foreigners' online complaints about the inconvenience of staying in hotels in China.

On May 24, a post on the central government's website said that people from Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and other countries had reported being turned away from some hotels that said they lacked "foreign-related qualifications" or "did not know how to enter information into the system".

It said the issue is particularly prevalent in small cities and budget hotels, and causes significant inconvenience.

The Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Commerce and the National Immigration Administration replied to the complaints forwarded by the website.

The Ministry of Public Security and the National Immigration Administration said they are working with the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other departments to study related measures.

The authorities said that those in the hospitality industry must not refuse foreign nationals by claiming they lack foreign-related qualifications. They are also guiding and supervising the industry to improve foreign-related reception services and enhance the service levels of staff members.

The Ministry of Commerce has told the China Hospitality Association to launch an initiative to facilitate accommodation services for foreign nationals, focusing on strengthening the study of laws and regulations, improving reception capabilities, and enhancing staff training to provide more convenience for foreigners visiting China or living in the country.

The authorities are coordinating with online platforms to offer a series of hotel English courses, providing free language training in registration, booking and other hotel skills to accommodation operators on platforms, helping them improve their language skills to better serve foreign nationals.

The Ministry of Public Security said public security organs across the nation will further optimize the management and service work related to the accommodation registration of foreign nationals.

According to China's Exit and Entry Administration Law, when foreigners stay in hotels, the hotels shall handle the registration of accommodation for them in accordance with relevant public security regulations and report their registration information to the local public security authorities.

The regulations on public security administration of the hospitality industry stipulate that hotel operators must register the guests' stay and verify their identification documents. When accommodating foreign guests, they shall also submit the registration forms to the local public security authorities within 24 hours.

In the past decades, China has loosened quality review and license issuing procedures for hotels receiving international travelers.

Beijing, for example, canceled limits on allowing international travelers to live at designated or licensed hotels in 2003, China News Service reported.

The Chongming district in Shanghai has taken trial steps to optimize hotel services for international travelers. The district's homestays can apply to the local police station to be able to receive international travelers, and the immigration department will offer training and review the quality of services.

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