The Hotel Charleroi Airport in Gosselies, Belgium, has been receiving a lot of publicity this week due to an initiative it operates that offers lonely guests the opportunity to rent a goldfish in a bowl for €3.50 per night.
The service, which has apparently been running for several years at the hotel, began gaining attention on 2 September when radio producer Michelle Cook tweeted a picture, taken by a friend staying at the venue, of a fishbowl and an accompanying sign explaining the terms of its rental, according to independent.co.uk.
Responses to the post, which has now been retweeted almost 14,000 times, have ranged from favourable and enthusiastic to some concerned about animal welfare.
However, hotel manager David Dillen addressed worries over the treatment of the fish by stating: "We take very good care of our fish. They have been with us for over four years now, so if they were not taken care of, they would have died a long time ago. They also have a big fish-tank in the housekeeping department, with a shelter, oxygen and plants. When we think it’s necessary, we put them there for a few days."