Asked the best defence, Marshal Foch once replied “attaquez, attaquez, attaquez!”

Faced with accusations of racism for asking eight Aboriginal guests to leave, the Haven Hostel in Alice Springs came up with the claim that it was a hostel for “international guests only”. Not much of a defence, but enough to muddy the waters. Who knows, eh, some hostels do restrict who can stay there on the basis of taking foreign backpackers only.

Yes. Unfortunately one of them isn’t Haven Hostel. Soon as I saw the story, mid-morning in the US, I went to booking site Hostelworld.com, and booked a three night stay, filling out the online form – which includes a question about nationality. (Where there are restrictions, hostelworld displays them – many New York hostel pages explicitly say that NY state residents can’t check in, for example).

As the receipt below shows, there wasn’t a problem with booking in. Not only that, but they were so happy to have an Australian guest, that they’re offering me low-cost travel insurance, based on my nationality.

Then there’s the on-site reviews for the hostel, include one from “Evilpandas” of “Australia”, who gave it 80%, but noted that the frying pan in the kitchen was broken.

Pitching the Haven Hostel it would seem, into the fire.

Peter Fray

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