Swiss hotel apologises for ‘racist’ notice aimed at Indian tourists

Hotel Arc-en-ciel put up a notice telling Indian tourists to ‘be quiet’ and ‘only eat with the cutlery provided’

The hotel was in the news after Indian industrialist Harsh Goenka posted an image of the notice, reportedly signed by the property’s general manager Christaine Matti. Image courtesy:hotelswiss.ch
The hotel was in the news after Indian industrialist Harsh Goenka posted an image of the notice, reportedly signed by the property’s general manager Christaine Matti. Image courtesy:hotelswiss.ch

Hotel Arc-en-ciel in Gstaad, Switzerland that was criticised for issuing a ‘racist’ code of conduct for Indian tourists earlier this week, has apologised.

The hotel was in the news after Indian industrialist Harsh Goenka posted an image of the notice, reportedly signed by the property’s general manager Christaine Matti.

According to Goenka’s post, the notice began with a rule about eating at the breakfast table. It read: “Please do not take anything with you, the food is for breakfast only. If you would like a lunch bag, you can order it from the service staff and pay for it."

But it went on to read about how Indian guests should only use cutlery provided to eat their food as other “guests also want an appetising buffet”. Followed by another rule that asked Indians to be quiet. "In addition to you, there are other guests from all over the world in the hotel. They also appreciate the peace and quiet and therefore we ask you to be quiet in the corridor and not speak too loud on the balcony".

The post shared by Goenka, invoked reactions from several parts of the world, most of which believed that the notice was racist and nothing short of discriminatory.

Soon after that, India’s Mumbai Mirror reported that the hotel told them that the notice was a “misunderstanding” and it was never the hotel's intention to “disclaim all our dear Indian guests as misbehaving tourists”.

According to the apology note, the letter was issued to inform guests about sharing food due to previous complaints about excessive noise after midnight.

The hotel withdrew the letter when they realised that it could be “misunderstood as racism”, the report said.

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