11 APR 2019: Princess Cruises is looking to change its calls to Brunei after the destination introduced a new harsher penal code that includes laws that make gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning to death. Celebrities have called for a boycott of Brunei owned hotels. However, along with the implementation of its draconian laws, the government of Brunei has chosen this time to launch a new tourism promotion campaign.

Princess Cruises

“Princess Cruises is aware of the news stories circulating about the country of Brunei and the discriminatory views of the country leader towards the LGBTQ community,” the cruise line said in a statement.

“Although we have no calls to Brunei in 2019, we are looking at one itinerary in May 2020 and another in January 2021 that currently include a port call to Brunei, with the intention to make changes to those itineraries.

“At Princess Cruises we celebrate diversity and equality and would avoid any location where any guests are not treated with dignity and respect."

Dorchester Group boycott

Late last month George Clooney and Elton John called for a boycott of the nine hotels in the Dorchester Group which are owned by the government wealth fund of the Sultan of Brunei.

The hotels involved are The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Coworth Park in Ascot, The Beverly Hills Hotel in Hollywood, the Hotel Bel-Air in LA, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, the Hotel Eden in Rome and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.

The new legislation which came into effect April 3, includes severe penalties such as the amputation of limbs for stealing, and prison time for dressing as a different gender, in addition to the death by stoning for gay sex and adultery – previously it was a comparatively lax 10 years in jail.

A truly unique experience

Brunei’s state-owned airline, Royal Brunei Airlines, has partnered with M&C Saatchi to promote Brunei as a must-visit destination and presenting the airline as the best way to get there.

Tanuj Philip, founding partner and CEO of M&C Saatchi Singapore, said “Not many people are aware of the undiscovered gem in the heart of Southeast Asia that Brunei is.”

He also added that new and modern aircraft being added to the Royal Brunei Airlines fleet.

“Our job is to fill the aircraft with people who are keen to explore the truly unique Bruneian experience,” said Philip.


Related article: Celebrities call for hotel boycott


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