Travel Companies Boycott Brunei-Owned Hotel Group
Travel companies are boycotting the Dorchester Collection of hotels this week after Hassanal Bolkiah, the sultan of Brunei, the small, oil-rich country on the island of Borneo that owns the hotel group, began implementing a new criminal code that will allow for homosexuals and adulterers to be stoned to death.
The code, based on Islamic, or Shariah, law, also calls for the severing of limbs or flogging as a punishment for theft, among other penalties. Implementation of the code has prompted protests in the United States by LGBT and human rights organizations, celebrities and travel companies.
On Saturday, Richard Branson, the owner of the Virgin Group, posted on Twitter that no Virgin employee would stay in a Dorchester property ?until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.? And cruise.co.uk, one of Europe?s largest online travel agencies for cruises, said it would no longer offer customers the option to stay in Dorchester hotels in any part of the world.
?This law was barbaric 1,500 years ago and nothing has changed to make it any less so today,? the company said in a statement on its Web site. ?Any guests asking to book one of these hotels will be politely told why we are unable to fulfill their request and offered a suitable alternative.?
The Dorchester Collection, an international group of luxury hotels, is owned by Brunei Investment Agency, a branch of Brunei?s Ministry of Finance, and includes properties in London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Geneva, as well as the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, where protesters have denounced the new law.
Michael Cieply of The Times reported that several Hollywood-funded charities and other organizations have already canceled or moved events from those hotels ? the Global Women?s Rights Awards, which are chaired by Jay and Mavis Leno, and Jeffrey Katzenberg?s annual ?Night Before the Oscars? charity ball, among them.
Click here to read more.
Source:? Rachel Lee Harris (2014), Travel Companies Boycott Brunei-Owned Hotel Group, New York Timeshttp://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/travel-companies-boycott-brunei-owned-hotel-group/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 published May 06, 2014. Viewed May 08, 2014.