Ja­panese ho­tel fines Tai­wanese trav­el­ers for smok­ing

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A Tai­wanese cou­ple was fined 24,000 Ja­panese yen (NT$6,000) by a five-star ho­tel in Karuizawa, Ja­pan for smok­ing in their non-smok­ing room, ac­cord­ing to an ETTV News ( ) re­port.

The cou­ple re­fused to pay the fine, how­ever, al­leg­ing that their tour guide failed to give them a heads up about the non-smok­ing pol­icy. They also re­jected the pay­ment on the ba­sis that the tour guide did not hag­gle the amount of fine on their be­half.

The ho­tel emailed the tour guide in­di­cat­ing the room num­ber of the unit the cou­ple stayed in along with pho­tos, which show that empty beer cans were stuffed with cig­a­rette butts. The mes­sage ar­rived when the travel group had checked out and was in the mid­dle of an ac­tiv­ity.

Since the room smelled of cig­a­rette smoke, it has to stay va­cant for one week and there­fore the ho­tel charged 24,000 Ja­panese yen.

The cou­ple, who has re­turned to Tai­wan, claimed they did not have that many cig­a­rettes at first. They later said they were just smok­ing out­side but trashed the cig­a­rette butts in­doors.

Ac­cord­ing to the tour guide, sur­named Wu, there was no ash­tray in the room and a sign says clearly that smok­ing is not al­lowed.

The tour guide ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment over the in­ci­dent. The travel agency can pay the fine, and it is not a big deal, he said. How­ever, such out­ra­geous be­hav­ior hurts Tai­wanese peo­ple’s im­age over­seas, he said, adding that the ho­tel may refuse to ac­cept travel groups in the fu­ture.

The five-star ho­tel is well-known in Karuizawa, and charges nearly 23,000 yen per night. “If the ho­tel chain re­fuses to take travel groups from Tai­wan, I think it’s not a good thing for Tai­wanese peo­ple,” Su said.

The travel agency said this par­tic­u­lar in­ci­dent is re­ally un­for­tu­nate and it will cover the loss if the cou­ple will not com­ply.

The agency said it only had ex­pe­ri­ence fil­ing cus­tomer com­plaints on be­half of tourists, and the cou­ple was its first un­rea­son­able cus­tomers.

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