Monday, January 25, 2016
Broaching the subject of some Mirissa Hotels/Restaurants turning away locals
Whilst the Constitution is quite clear on the topic of discrimination under any grounds, establishments can enforce a code of conduct that applies to all. So some clubs are members only, or some areas are for members only. In other places, there is a minimum dress code, At the Hill Club in Nuwera Eliya, a jacket and tie is a must if dining there, though I believe National Dress of your Country is acceptable!
Imagine you are a Restaurant or Hotel owner, catering mainly to foreigners, no matter in the past there were NO foreigners to cater to! You discover to your consternation, that most of the locals who patronize your watering hole, are rowdy, make passing comments of a lecherous nature to your foreign guests, first in Sinhala and then more boldly in English, while the foreigner could be French not understanding English, but still get the jist of it that you are being pilloried, much less talked about! What do you do? Especially as you get the feeling that your foreign guests become uncomfortable, and may wish to leave, depriving you of your clientele.
Worse you are registered with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and make your punitive taxes to them for that registration, and then you have the SLTDA officials descend on you and are reading you the riot act!!!!
If it was me I would certainly NOT be amused! I cannot tell Sri Lankans about manners, and risk a fight, perhaps a stabbing in the back! So I take the easy way out and tell my staff, NOT to allow Sri Lankans in or be choosy as to who you let in, so a Sri Lankan in a Benz car is fair game, but a yokel in a three-wheeler who looks more like a beach boy, out to pick a white bird, I refuse!
What if I am wealthy enough to buy the restaurant but dress up like a beach boy? You know its appearance that counts! "Pretty Woman" the movie was the classic example when she was turned away from a Rodeo Drive shop in Beverly Hills, because the shop assistant unhesitatingly told her that there was nothing she could get in the shop.
Take it from me people are turned away daily from various beach-side eateries by the owners because they are a nuisance to the guests, no matter what guarantee there is in the Constitution, so is this making a mountain out of a molehill?
If you want tourists, if you want your country to welcome tourists, the people in the host Country, must be welcoming, not pestering, so that they have a pleasant experience, otherwise they will not return.
Like in my case I was mugged once and had to head off two attempted muggings in Rome, all in one day, so I will never go back to Rome again. Muggers were Eastern Europeans by the way! We have afghan beggars/con artists these days, in case our dear Tourist officials did not notice.