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13 Mai 2022

Simone Foxman and Patrick Clark, Bloomberg

Wyndham to Investigate as Qatari Hotel Says Gay Guests Banned

Journalists from state broadcasters in Denmark, Sweden and Norway posed as gay newlyweds planning their honeymoon when attempting to book a room at 69 hotels on FIFA’s official list of recommended providers...

...Wyndham Hotels said in an emailed statement that the company would “look into this immediately as the actions taken do not reflect of our core values including being inclusive”...

The Torch Doha and Magnum Hotel & Suites Westbay also declined to host the fictitious couple, NRK said. Torch Doha later told the broadcaster it would respect policies set out by World Cup organizers. Neither hotel responded to Bloomberg requests for comment outside normal business hours.

In a document on sourcing policies, the committee...stipulates that businesses it works with mustn’t discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation. However, a government official in charge of security for the event told the Associated Press last month that rainbow flags could be taken away from fans in order to protect them from attack.

Hospitality companies haven’t been immune from such scrutiny. In a 2021 survey of 19 hotel brands operating in Qatar, the UK-based Business & Human Rights Resource Centre found a “widespread lack of action” to prevent and exclude forced labor, though it praised increasing engagement and attention to the issue from some of those it contacted. The organization said Wyndham didn’t respond to its request for information in last year’s survey.