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Travel industry news

04 Apr 2019

BY Tom Parry


Trade moves against Brunei over 'gay stoning' laws

Regent Holidays has stopped selling a tour featuring Brunei and Premier Holidays is “reviewing” using Royal Brunei Airlines after the country implemented new laws meaning LGBT people could be stoned to death.

Brunei LGBT laws

The kingdom’s decision has garnered widespread outcry, with the United Nations branding the move “a serious setback” on human rights.


Brunei’s Sultan introduced a strict Islamic penal system nearly five years ago, with laws introduced over a period of several years.


Regent Holidays, which offered one itinerary that included Brunei as part of a Borneo holiday, said the tour was no longer active on its website “pending further review of the situation”.


Premier Holidays said it currently sold a “very small amount” of flights with state-owned Royal Brunei Airlines. “This is now being reviewed,” a spokesperson said.


Transport for London has also pulled the country’s tourism campaign across its network.


The adverts promoted Brunei and Royal Brunei under the slogan "an abode of peace".


“The advertisement was considered compliant with our advertising policy when it was submitted and accepted," a spokesperson told The Independent.


"However, given recent information that has come to light, it is clear that this is an issue of great public sensitivity and controversy so the advert will be removed from our network."


The Sultan of Brunei also owns
 a string of luxury hotels across the world such as London’s Dorchester.


Nick Harding-McKay, managing director of Balham-based Travel Designers, said his agency had placed Brunei-owned properties on stop-sale and was “actively switch-selling” away from Royal Brunei as a result of the laws.


ITT chairman Steven Freudmann said a decision had been made earlier this year to move its President’s Dinner in October, traditionally held at the Dorchester, to The Savoy.


Freudman said the decision was “purely coincidental, to refresh the event” but stressed: “We at ITT, although a non-political organisation, are fully supportive of every group of society and condemn the implementation these barbaric laws.”


Royal Brunei said it did not wish to comment, while TTG contacted the country’s Tourism Development Department on the issue but is yet to receive a response.

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