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Chinese hotels to have flexible check-out schedules
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Sound sleepers will likely to have a privilege of extending sleeping hours in Chinese hotels and not worrying about extra room rate, after the country moves to encourage hotels to have flexible check-out schedules.

In the latest version of professional standards of hotels, which was issued by the the China Tourist Hotels Association(CTHA) recently, hotels are allowed to arrange their own check-out schedules, Saturday's Beijing Times reported.

Previously, hotel guests in China are required to leave their room before midday. The former edition of the professional standards, which was issued in 2002, stipulate that half day room rate is applicable for extended check-out until 18:00 and full rate for late check-out after 18:00.

The new standards, however, is not compulsory and only serves as a reference, according to CTHA.

The new standards stipulate that hotels should inform clients at prominent locations in the lobby of check-out time schedule and room rate if change is made and make sure the clients are informed in an appropriate manner.

Analysts say the move would bring more competition to the hotel industry as giving hotels more decision-making power in forming check-out schedules would help them formulate plans to attract customers.

The revision to the former standards would also bring inconveniences for customers as they may face a variety of check-out schedules and differentiated room rates, a CTHA-affiliated lawyer who only identifies himself as Liu told the newspaper.

In some places of China, practice such as negotiations with hotels on the check-out time and settlement method have already existed. Hotels usually offer a luggage storage service for guests if they are required to leave at noon.

(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2009)

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