Demonstrations worldwide as Lhasa hotel opens for business

30th September 2014

Foreign guests welcomed by IHG in Tibet; IHG guests elsewhere greeted by Tibet protests As the Intercontinental Resort Lhasa Paradise opens its doors to foreign guests for the first time, peaceful protests have taken place outside Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) hotels across the world today. IHG has ignored campaigners' concerns about the impact of the hotel on Tibetans' struggle for freedom, refused to answer our questions and even opened its doors to a Chinese Communist Party propaganda event.

Tibet protests

Tibet supporters will be demonstrating today in Brazil, the US, Poland, India and the UK, among other countries. Last year, IHG hotels in more than 15 countries were targeted in a Global Day of Action. Our thanks to Students for a Free Tibet and the International Tibet Network for their work organising international demonstrations today.

IHG reputation damaged

Earlier this month, IHG lost the contract to run the prestigious London Westminster hotel it opened just two years ago. The hotel's owners have chosen another company to take over management of the hotel. The Westminster hotel was the site of many Tibet protests, including our audacious "In bed with China" protest last year (see video here). Could it be that the hotel's owners no longer wanted to be associated with the IHG brand and put themselves at risk of further bad publicity?

Intercontinental ignores corporate responsibility standards

Multinational companies setting up businesses in areas where human rights abuses take place are supposed to undertake human rights assessments, consult with the local community and take steps to ensure that they do not offer any kind of support to authorities abusing human rights. IHG has repeatedly refused to confirm it has done any of those in Tibet. IHG claims that corporate responsibility is "part of its DNA" but it has failed to meet the standards set by numerous bodies, including the United Nations. IHG defends its project on the grounds of economic benefit to the community but only around half of it's employees are expected to be Tibetan.

Take action

IHG has no place selling Tibet as a paradise when its people face oppression and occupation. Click the boycott button below and tell the company to get out of Lhasa.