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The Dorchester Collection has admitted that the current boycott of its hotels by companies and high-profile celebrities has led to a drop in bookings for its MICE business.
The company confirmed that in Los Angeles, where it owns the Beverly Hills hotel, the boycott has led to a cancellation of events and meetings resulting in a loss of revenue. This includes the high-profile pre-Oscars party, which has reportedly been pulled by organisers due to the ongoing protests.
It comes after London’s Dorchester Hotel and sister properties had been forced to react to growing calls for a boycott following their owner’s call that gay people and adulterers should be stoned to death.
The Dorchester Collection, which includes the landmark London property, the nearby 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park in Ascot, is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who is introducing a strict new penal code in the oil-rich state. It is based on Sharia law, in line with Brunei’s Muslim heritage.
A spokeswoman for the Dorchester Collection told the Daily Telegraphthe boycott had started to have a knock-on effect to business.
"In LA, the boycott is affecting our events and meeting business and our staffing needs," she said. "We have had several cancellations since April 17 which has resulted in lost revenue. The economic impact extends beyond our doors and affects the community as well."
On May 7 Dorchester Collection CEO Christopher Cowdray was forced to issue a statement on the controversial issue, in which he distanced the company from the decisions made in Brunei.
“Our reputation, which has been built on service and integrity, speaks for itself. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination, we never have and we never will. Our policies are far removed from the politics of ownership.”
He added that the brand would continue to honour core values of “integrity, equality and diversity”.
The protest has already attracted high level support; including Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, who has banned staff from staying in any Dorchester Collection properties.