A LOW cost hostel in Valencia has been caught charging women more than men to stay the night in an identical room.
The UP! Hostel near Valencia’s North station was hit with the scandal after a potential guest spotted a €3.06 price jump when opting for the female dorm on the hostel’s website.
The baffled woman contacted the friend who had recommended the hostel and who happened to be a member of Valencia’s consumer union, which was recently taken over by Valencia’s women’s institute.
When the friend contacted the union to ask whether the price difference was normal, its legal department responded that it was not.
“It is a case of discrimination,” Vicente Inglada, the consumer association’s public relations manager, said.
The union quickly reported the hostel to authorities.
A printed statement stuck outside the hostel’s front doors accused the press of blowing the news of of all proportion.
“It is not sexism, it is supply and demand,” the hostel said.
“Woman pay the same price as men for a room per night” in a mixed room, according to the statement.
They only pay more if they choose an “exclusively female” dorm, which is a free choice and most women opt for it, the hostel added.
The company also offered a dorm for men only, which some chose for religious reasons. But the price was lower than the women’s dorm because it was not very popular.
And eventually the hostel got rid of the male option all together.
A young backpacker from Brighton in the United Kingdom who had stayed there said it was a “clear and cynical” case of discrimination. It takes advantage of women travelling alone, she added.
The case is now in the hands of Valencia’s tourism board which is in charge of inspecting the city’s hotels and hostels.