Demonstrations are to take place outside several InterContinental hotels today against the groups’ hotel development in Tibet.
Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) will be holding protests outside several InterContinental properties today, including the London Westminster hotel, calling for IHG to pull out of building a 1,000+ room resort in Tibet’s capital Lhasa.
They have argued that the ‘Lhasa Paradise’ name given to the project also ‘whitewashes’ human rights abuses in Tibet, which has been subject to law by Chinese authorities.
“InterContinental’s plans to open a massive ‘luxury resort’ in Lhasa are not just offensive to Tibetans but a reputational nightmare for investors,” said Padma Dolma, campaigns and Europe director for Students for a Free Tibet. “China’s flagrant humans rights abuses in Tibet were highlighted by several countries during the UN’s review of China last week, yet InterContinental’s executives want to continue with business as usual in Lhasa. Occupation is no vacation and as long as Tibetans live in fear of arrest, imprisonment and death for simply expressing their desire for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama, Lhasa is no place for a UK-based company to open a luxury hotel.”
When contacted by Travel Daily, an IHG spokesperson said the hotel would operate under its ‘rigorous’ ethics code and will help the country by developing jobs and a tourism income.
A spokesperson from IHG said: “IHG takes great pride in operating responsibly and in a sustainable way, which is important for a company with our global footprint. This will be no different in Lhasa. IHG has a rigorous Code of Ethics and Business Conduct Policy in place. As IHG will manage the hotel once open, the InterContinental Lhasa will be held to our high operational standards and policies, including the recruiting, training and development of our hotel staff. Our hotels not only create jobs but also drive tourism income, thereby helping to increase living standards in those countries where we have a presence.”