German guesthouse turns away Israelis: 'Our apartments are not for them'

Group of Israeli travelers told to cancel reservation at lodging in Baden-Württemberg.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 31, 2016 17:56
2 minute read.
Black Forest Germany

Pastoral view of the Black Forest in Germany [File]. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ADRIAN THOMALE)

 
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A group of Israeli tourists looking for board while planning a trip to Germany next summer were shocked after a guesthouse in the southwestern region of Baden-Württemberg last week urged them to cancel their reservation due to their nationality.

While planning a vacation for next August, the four Israeli families reserved lodging at the Mattenhof guesthouse in the Black Forest town of Zell am Harmersbach, explained one of the party's members, Igor Tsehansky.

However, shortly after confirming the reservation, the administrators of the guesthouse contacted the Israelis with a slew of messages and notified them that they should cancel the booking.

Tsehansky said that he and his friends received the German-language notice less than week after making the arrangements.

"We don't Want have Guests from Israel, because our apartments are Not for them [sic]. Please cancel the Booking," read a Google translated message that Tsehansky posted to Facebook.



In light of the matter, the disgruntled Israeli traveler contacted the Booking.com platform that had facilitated the reservation to complain and request alternative accommodations.

"It took us weeks to find the hotel and we even ordered it a year in advance," he told Jpost.com on Sunday.


Despite various attempts by the online accommodation booking website to make other accommodations or financial compensation for the Israeli group, the future tourists remained disconcerted by the ordeal.

"Nothing has been resolved," he said, adding that he plans to file a complaint against the booking company. 

While Tsehansky noted that he had successfully booked a separate hotel for another leg of the Germany trip, the issue with the Black Forest lodging represented a "specific incident."

"At Booking.com, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Period," a spokesperson from the company told Jpost.com on Monday. "As soon as we were made aware of the comments made by the owner of this property to our customers, we immediately investigated and closed the property on our site."

"We are now working to find a suitable alternative for the group of customers affected by this incident as quickly as possible," the Booking.com spokesperson added.

An earlier version of this report was published on October 30 without response from Booking.com.


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