A hostel of Ayaz Shabutdinov's network 'bans' accommodation to tourists from China

The hostel in Kazan does not have the right to refuse Chinese citizens who “have come from their homeland” to check in

A hostel of Ayaz Shabutdinov's network 'bans' accommodation to tourists from China
Photo: kazan.aif.ru

A hostel in Kazan is refusing to accommodate Chinese citizens because of the coronavirus epidemic. They care about the guests' health that way. The ad published by the hostel has already caused the indignation of users of social networks. As Realnoe Vremya found out, the not-too-hospitable institution is part of the network of franchisees opened by well-known blogger-entrepreneur Ayaz Shabutdinov. There is no ban on accommodation of Chinese citizens in any other hostel in the network.

Segregation by passport

The ad has appeared on the door of the Kazan hostel 'Like', which is amazing in terms of its emotional impact. Here's the full text:

“Dear Chinese who have recently arrived from their native land!

We are concerned about the health of our visitors, so you are strictly prohibited from entering the hostel. This is necessary in order to prevent the appearance of coronavirus in our hostel's guests.” The text has been carefully translated into Chinese.

At first glance, the decision looks, to put it mildly, strange because Rospotrebnadzor and the ministry of healthcare of Tatarstan strictly monitor all arrivals from China and check them for all imaginable diseases, starting from the airport. Besides, a person with a passport of any country can bring coronavirus from China to Kazan.

“We care about the health of our guests, so we have temporarily restricted the accommodation of citizens from China," says Railya Sabitova. Photo: instagram.com/railya_sabitova

The owner of Like hostel, Railya Sabitova, explained her decision by that the main reason was the concern of other guests:

“We care about the health of our guests, so we have temporarily restricted the accommodation of citizens from China. Visiting guests are interested in whether Chinese residents are staying here. This is the only reason why we will refuse in the near future if we are approached by citizens of this country so that our customers are calm. We have taken this decision, but, I hope, not for a long time, for the period of distribution of the coronavirus," the hostess of Like hostel, Railya Sabitova, told Realnoe Vremya.

Our publication found out that none of the representatives of the brand Like in other cities — in Ryazan, Kaluga, Rostov-on-Don, Lipetsk — did not impose such sanctions for the Chinese.

“We have the same rules for the entire branch network. But the franchisee regulates its own activities and has the right to impose certain restrictions on the entry of guests or, conversely, to expand the rules for their reception," Rustam Ayupov, the director of Like Hostel PLC, commented on the actions of the partner in Kazan to Realnoe Vremya.

Social experiment

Realnoe Vremya tried to find out whether there are restrictions on the accommodation of Chinese groups in other hostels and hotels in Kazan. Our “social experiment” included a request to host a group of fifteen Chinese citizens in the coming week. Here are the results:

  • An employee of Nice hostel kindly calculated the number of available rooms for the proposed group to accommodate tourists “together, as they usually prefer”.
  • There were no problems with the accommodation of Chinese at Sleep Space hostel.
  • Almaz Hostel also agreed to receive a foreign delegation.
  • The hostel 6/57 was puzzled by the questions: “What kind of group, where is it coming from, whether students, where are they studying and living?" After some consultation with the owner of the institution, the manager replied that tourists will be accommodated but only on the condition that guests submit certificates from the therapist that they are healthy.
  • Nogay hotel refused “our Chinese” for a good reason: “We are hosting a big event. No rooms.”

Nogay hotel refused “our Chinese” for a good reason: “We are hosting a big event. No rooms.” Photo: Maksim Platonov

There is an evident violation of the law

We asked the Union of Consumers of the Republic of Tatarstan whether it is legal to ban the placement of citizens of a particular country, even in the face of a terrible danger. The organization's lawyer confirmed our concerns:

“Of course, the refusal to accommodate if there are available rooms is a violation from the point of view of the legislation. The consumer has the right to receive the service provided that there are no limiting documents. We need to consider issues related to customer security. We do not see any restrictive documents published in the public domain, but there may be classified documents that regulate the operation of hotels, for example, during the development of the coronavirus. A hotel or tour operator still needs to clarify the existence of such documents in state agencies Ito avoid a lawsuit or penalties. A company that is going to protect itself and its customers in this way should make a request to Rospotrebnadzor and the Kazan Tourism Committee.

Meanwhile, Marina Davydova, the executive director of Rivyera hotel, told Realnoe Vremya that they had not received any classified documents on restrictions on the accommodation of Chinese citizens:

“As a rule, Chinese tourists visit Rivyera hotel as part of large delegations, as part of group requests, mainly related to business trips or large-scale events held in Kazan. At the moment, no applications have been received from Chinese groups. As for the recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor, they are more general in nature and relate to what means should be chosen for surface disinfection. They don't include anything new. These recommendations are implemented at the hotel on a regular basis.

Citizens arriving from China are already experiencing numerous inconveniences. For example, the other day at Haier plant in Naberezhnye Chelny, they told that employees coming from China are being kept in a two-week quarantine and separately stipulated that they are not accommodated in hotels, so as not to create inconvenience for the local population. And Chinese students returning to Kazan from vacation were centrally accommodated outside the city for the period of medical examination.

Until 2019, the co-owner of the network was well-known entrepreneur Ayaz Shabutdinov, but the current director of Like Hostel PLC, Rustam Ayupov, told Realnoe Vremya that Shabutdinov left this business a year ago and is now one of the founders of the company Like Centre — the center for business development. Photo: u24.ru

Ayaz Shubutdinov's Empire

Like network's hostels are opened in different cities by the franchise. Until 2019, the co-owner of the network was well-known entrepreneur Ayaz Shabutdinov, but the current director of Like Hostel PLC, Rustam Ayupov, told Realnoe Vremya that Shabutdinov left this business a year ago and is now one of the founders of the company Like Centre — the center for business development.

The network of hostels, according to Ayupov, continues to exist regardless of this structure. Liliya Timurovna Davletyarova, who declined to comment on the situation, is listed as the beneficiary of Like Hostel PLC, according to Spark-Interfax system.

By Ekaterina Ablayeva, Lyudmila Gubayeva
Tatarstan