Letter: Hotel discrimination

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your article "Hidden charges at hotels targeted" (report, 27 May) refers to the surcharge for single people and states that the Office of Fair Trading has concluded that this practice does not constitute anti-competitive behaviour. It may not be anti-competitive, but is certainly discriminatory.

I had planned to visit Edinburgh for a few days and was sent a booklet on accommodation by the Edinburgh & Lothian Tourist Board.

A three-star hotel charges for bed and breakfast per person in a shared room pounds 45-pounds 55, while a single person has to pay pounds 80-pounds 90. In a four-star hotel the prices per person in a shared room are pounds 65-pounds 87.50, for a single pounds 105-pounds 110. The corresponding prices in another four-star hotel are pounds 59-pounds 111 and pounds 118-pounds 183.50.

Some hotels, mainly in the one- and two-star categories, do not make any, or only moderate, surcharges.

I hope that the consumer affairs and tourism ministers will be able to persuade hotels that blatant discrimination against single travellers is not in the long-term interest of the tourist industry.


Pinner, Middlesex