Hotel cancellations over Brunei ‘stone the gays’ law reach $1.5 million
The losses faced by the Beverly Hills Hotel in the midsts of a boycott over Brunei’s anti-gay laws have reached an estimated $1.5 million (£900,000).
A new law, which began to be phased in last week, replaces the maximum ten-year prison sentence for homosexuality with death by stoning in the Islamic state.
This led to boycotts of luxury hotel chain the Dorchester Collection, which is owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.
Now CEO of the Dorchester Collection, Christopher Cowdray has estimated its losses, but also vowed to “weather the storm”.
“The impact has been predominately in the local events business where those have been canceled and we’re up to probably about $1.5 million so far, but we can weather the storm. We’re very, very much larger than that,” Cowdray told CNBC.
“If you take the global perspective of this city, we’re not the only hotel or establishment or business that is owned by a country which has Sharia laws,” he said. “There’s so many hotels, banks and other organizations that have connections to countries which have this type of law.”
The city council in Beverly Hills earlier this week passed a resolution condemning Brunei’s law to introduce death by stoning as a penalty for homosexuality, and urged the country’s Sultan to sell the Beverly Hills Hotel, also part of the Dorchester Collection.
On Saturday, Virgin boss Richard Branson announced a company-wide boycott of the hotel chain, while celebrities including Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne have all urged for businesses to distance themselves from the chain.