Guangzhou hotels may require couples to present proof of marriage


Southern Metropolis Daily, June 23, 2010

Update: In a report in this afternoon’s Yangcheng Evening News, a police spokesperson has denied the marriage license requirement, apparently contradicting the Southern Metropolis Daily‘s police source:

This morning, a Yangcheng Evening News reporter spoke about the matter with a security detachment supervisor with the city’s PSB, who said desicively, “There is no rule that married couples must present a marriage license when registering for a hotel room. However, all guests must display an identity card, or a driver’s license, passport, or military ID when registering, and everyone must register.”

In tightened regulations now being enforced by Guangzhou police, hotels will now need to register the ID of every guest, and couples must present proof that they are married, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports in its top headline.

From the article inside the paper:

The night before last, Xiao Zhang and his girlfriend tried to stay in a hotel near the Yuexiu campus of the Guangdong University of Technology, but because his girlfriend had not brought her ID with her, they were refused. “When we stayed here a few days ago, it was enough to show just my ID,” Xiao Zhang said.

“They said that police checks had been very strict lately. We had to either present a marriage license or show IDs for the both of us.” Xiao Zhang tried other hotels in the area but was rebuffed.

This reporter found the same situation at hotels in Yuexiu, Tianhe, and Huangpu Districts. A small inn close to the Sinopec complex in Huangpu had recently purchased a scanner. When this reporter asked to get a room to share with a friend, the manager, Ms. Yang. said, “You need as many IDs as you have people.” She said that three days before, the police had notified the inn of a check.

“Now every guest staying in the hotel has to show ID, something that has never happened before,” said Mr. Yang, who works at the front desk of a one-star hotel in Nangang, Huangpu District. He said that because of the Asian Games, the police had toughened their undercover investigations of major hotels and small inns.

Mr. Yang said that the day before last, four or five guests had come to get a room, but because only one of them had ID, they were turned away. Many hotels said that the regulation had affected business. This reporter learned that many hotels had taken down their discount posters and were offering rooms at standard rates.

“I don’t know if this type of management will be any good.” Mr. Qiu, manager of a major hotel, said that police might not be able to resolve the real issues through this management system. “Complicated procedures annoy ordinary people!”

Mr. Qiu said that in the past, getting room required the ID of just one of the guests, “Because since everyone was together, they’d be connected to each other, and if there were any problems, it was sufficient to just find one of them.” He said that if miscreants truly wanted to stay overnight, they could use fake IDs or have someone else rent the room for them.

Guangzhou police said that they have recently been devoting substantial manpower to undercover investigations of inns in the city, primarily to check up on the registration system. Through the end of the year, police will conduct daily undercover registrations at hotels across the city to uncover and punish operators engaging in improper activity such as failing to register guests, registering many guests under the ID of one individual, registering multiple rooms under the ID of one individual, and registering one individual using the ID of someone else.

“Some guests, particularly at small inns, are suspected of being involved in soliciting and prostitution. To eradicate this phenomenon, we ask married couples to present their marriage license upon registration,” the police said.

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