"Culture. Heritage. Nature." Medieval laws regarding homosexuality.

Most of the world has been united in condemning Brunei for its new laws which make homosexuality punishable by death.

On Wednesday April 3 the country passed a Syariah Penal Code Order, which advocates death by stoning for offenses such as robbery, blasphemy and homosexuality.

Airlines, travel businesses and tourists have vowed to boycott the country.


And in response to this backlash, the small Middle East kingdom has launched a tourism campaign seeking more visitors.

Brunei Tourism has debued a campaign to promote the "four pillars" of the country's tourism products ( these it lists as "Culture, Heritage, Nature, and Contemporary Asia") in order to woo international visitors.

In a release issued via the country's consulates, the campaign stated that it had been investing in "international tourism consultants" along with "industry partners and the media" with an aim "to position Brunei Darussalam as a distinctive, exciting and undiscovered travel destination in Asia."

Part of the new, outwards face of Brunei is a website promoting "Brunei : Abode of Peace".

Translated into multiple languages, it looks like a great many others belonging to comparable countries with tourism aspirations. There are also various pictures from a social media account with thousands of followers.

However, visitors will find no section with advice regarding LGBTQ+ travel.

Any dreams Brunei has as a tourism destination will soon be tested following the backlash and it is expected visitor numbers will suffer.

In a poll conducted by news.com.au just 15 per cent of respondents said they had not been put off travel to the country.

Lobyists are askign to revoke Royal Brunei Airlines landing rights in Australia. Photo / Getty Images
Lobyists are askign to revoke Royal Brunei Airlines landing rights in Australia. Photo / Getty Images

In Australia the government is currently being lobbied to revoke the landing rights of the national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines, which flies direct to Melbourne.

According to the Australian newspaper, Virgin Australia has already cut its staff travel share with Royal Brunei.

"Virgin Australia does not sell seats on Royal Brunei," a spokeswoman told the newspaper.

"Under a separate interline ticketing agreement, Royal Brunei sells seats available on Virgin Australia aircraft for select routes within Australia. There is no change to this particular agreement."

There are no direct flights to Brunei's international airport, Bandar Seri Begawan, from New Zealand.

However, it is unclear if a tourism boycott of the country will have any effect on the country's policies.

The country's tourism industry has been stagnating for years.

Tourism growth slowed to just 8 per cent between 2017 and 2018, with the Brunei MPIT reporting a total of 70000 visitors.

Last year just 2842 Kiwis and Australians visited, down by almost 10 per cent.

Hollywood boycott: The Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Photo / Getty Images
Hollywood boycott: The Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Photo / Getty Images

Already the country is looking at the far east, to China and Malaysia as the main markets for the tourism campaign.

Chinese companies have already invested huge sums in the country according to the South China Morning Post and last year Xi Jinping became the first Chinese leader to visit the country in 13 years.

But this week another travel and tourism boycott was begun in Hollywood taking a different approach.

Several celebrities including George Clooney and Sir Elton John called for travellers to shun a list of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

On Wednesday the TV personality Ellen DeGeneres published a list of nine such properties.

"Tomorrow, the country of Brunei will start stoning gay people to death," read the caption calling for a boycott.

These hotels, far from Brunei included some of the most exclusive luxury properties in Europe and the US.

They included: The Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Beverley Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, Coworth Park in Ascot, Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, Hotel Eden in Rome and Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan.

A source connected to the Dorchester Collection told Fox News that none of these hotels owned by the Brunei investment wing had not yet received any news of protest action and police had not yet been asked for protest permits.