Text size

A hotel in the Austrian region of Tyrol that said it does not accept Jewish guests has caused shock in the local media and tourism industry, the daily Tiroler Tageszeitung reported Sunday.

A Vienna family of seven had had tried to make a reservation at the Haus Sonnenhof apartment hotel in the village of Serfaus, but the owner replied by e-mail that although the room was free, she did not want to take in Jewish guests because of "bad experiences" in the past.

The region around Serfaus has become popular among orthodox Jewish tourists in recent years, and several hotels in Tyrol have begun offering kosher food.

At Hotel Alpenruh-Micheluzzi, owner Petra Micheluzzi told the German Press Agency DPA that the rejection by the Sonnenhof was "bad for the image" of Serfaus.

One such incident could destroy all the hard work by others in the travel industry, she said, a view echoed by local and regional tourism officials.

"That's terrible," said Esther Fritsch, the president of the regional Jewish community. So far there have been no such incidents, she told the newspaper.

Irmgard Monz, the owner of the Haus Sonnenhof apartment hotel, could not be reached for comment on Sunday. In an interview with Tiroler Tageszeitung, she offered no justification for her e-mail.

For his part, the rejected father of five has decided to spend the summer elsewhere: "I don't want to spend my vacation in such a racist nest, and I will inform all my friends about what is going on in Tyrol," the unidentified man was quoted as saying.