Rural tourism business bans “gays, lesbians, football fans and festival goers”

The pretty rural retreat of Casa d’João Enes, near Viana do Castelo, is in the news this week for its apparent blanket bans on “gays, lesbians, football fans, music festival goers and psychotropic drug users”.

According to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, the little business which prides itself on so-called intimist tourism is carrying advice on its Facebook page that has elicited a storm of outrage and even a public petition, alleging the ban violates the Portuguese Constitution.

But are things exactly the way they are portrayed?

CM cites the advice to people booking their stays, as saying: “In case you find yourself in any of the four situations indicated here, please do us the favour of not going ahead with your reservation under penalty of being banned admission”.

There then follows the description: “Gays/lesbians, football fans, frequenters of music festivals and consumers of psychotropic substances.”

A quick search on Facebook and the business’ website reveals nothing like this – just a long list of people showing their outrage at discrimination.

But CM certainly appears to think the business is fervently anti-LGBT – and all the rest – claiming owner Paulo Bandeira came up with the ban because he has simply had “bad experiences”.

One particularly which sticks in his mind is the arrival of a group which had been to the Neo-pop electronic music festival.

“They arrived very late, upset the other guests and failed to meet the concept of the hotel, which is to relax,” he told CM.

Needless to say, CM’s coverage is fanning the flames of displeasure – though at time of writing only seven people had actually put their names to the petition decrying “discrimination”.

[email protected]