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The bizarre reason behind Georgia Love's Saudi Arabian holiday


Georgia Love and husband Lee Elliott received major backlash this week after taking a trip to Saudi Arabia, which is known for its human rights issues.

And despite Lee stating on Instagram that the couple ‘weren’t paid’ to visit the country, there are now questions around who exactly covered all the costs.

According to the Herald Sun, the couple weren’t paid directly for the trip, but ‘Saudi Arabian tourism approached Love and was footing the bill for all airfares, accommodation and expenses’.

Cha-ching! Georgia Love and Lee Elliott may have had their controversial trip to Saudi Arabia paid for by the country's tourism bureau

Cha-ching! Georgia Love and Lee Elliott may have had their controversial trip to Saudi Arabia paid for by the country’s tourism bureau 

The publication also claimed that Georgia and Lee were just two of a much larger group of influencers from around the globe who were ‘flown to Saudi Arabia to promote the Middle East country’.

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Visit Saudi and Love’s management for comment.  

The Bachelorette couple deleted all their holiday photos from Saudi Arabia after backlash from fans for promoting the region.

They removed photos taken in the Middle Eastern country off their Instagram as of Friday, after facing a barrage of backlash on Thursday.

Claims: According to the Herald Sun, the couple weren't paid directly for the trip, but 'Saudi Arabian tourism approached Love and was footing the bill for all airfares, accommodation and expenses'

Claims: According to the Herald Sun, the couple weren’t paid directly for the trip, but ‘Saudi Arabian tourism approached Love and was footing the bill for all airfares, accommodation and expenses’

Those images included Georgia, 33, and Lee, 40, arriving at King Khalid International Airport, and posing outside a local building.

The couple came under fire from followers after sharing photos together in the country while tagging the official tourism bureau of Saudi Arabia.

Georgia captioned the post, ‘Well I can categorically say not one person guessed… we’re in Saudi Arabia!!

‘After only opening to tourists in 2019, we can’t state how excited we are to be among the first Aussies to tour Saudi.

‘To us, it is important to see, experience and learn about all cultures around us and to see how much and how fast our world is changing. We can’t wait to bring you along on this incredible experience with us’.

Influencer perks! The publication also claimed that Georgia (pictured) wasn't the only influencer that was flown out to Saudi Arabia

Influencer perks! The publication also claimed that Georgia (pictured) wasn’t the only influencer that was flown out to Saudi Arabia

However, critics quickly piled on the former Channel Seven reporter.

Entertainment journalist Peter Ford tweeted a link to a news article revealing Saudi Arabia recently ‘executed 81 convicts in a single day’.

Ford added: ‘This is the country Georgia Love accepted a free trip to visit. Of the 81 you can be sure there is a disproportionate number of women, gays & possibly journalists. Did you really need a freebie trip that badly Georgia?’ 

Her Instagram followers were just as savage, with one asking ‘We’re really promoting Saudi now? With their appalling human rights record??’

Gone: The Bachelorette stars swept photos taken in the Middle Eastern country off their Instagram as of Friday, after facing a barrage of backlash on Thursday

 Gone: The Bachelorette stars swept photos taken in the Middle Eastern country off their Instagram as of Friday, after facing a barrage of backlash on Thursday

Another was stunned that the former journalist had not done her homework before promoting the country.

‘As a woman and a journalist did you not consider the treatment of both groups in Saudi? As a journo I imagine you stand for freedom of the press, freedom of speech – both of which are non existent in Saudi Arabia.’

‘Prominent women’s rights activists detained in 2018 have remained in detention while on trial for their women’s rights advocacy,’ they added.

‘Why not use your influence/platform to promote somewhere that doesn’t have an atrocious record of human rights violations.’

Defending: In a post shared hours after the backlash, Lee defended their trip and said the he and Georgia, 33, were 'not being paid to be here'

Backtrack: They added that they don't in any way endorse 'behaviours of the past or human rights violations that have occurred in this country'

Defending: In a post shared hours after the backlash, Lee defended their trip and said the he and Georgia, 33, were ‘not being paid to be here’ and don’t in any way endorse ‘behaviours of the past or human rights violations that have occurred in this country’

The totalitarian regime ruling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked among the ‘worst of the worst’ in Freedom House’s annual survey of political and civil rights.

Daily Mail Australia reached out to Love’s representatives for comment at the time.

Later that day, Lee defended their trip and said the he and Georgia were ‘not being paid’ to visit and don’t in any way endorse ‘behaviours of the past or human rights violations that have occurred in this country’.

Luxury: Georgia and Lee are staying in the 5-star Hilton Riyadh during their trip

Luxury: Georgia and Lee are staying in the 5-star Hilton Riyadh during their trip 

Questionable: The totalitarian regime ruling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked among the 'worst of the worst' in Freedom House's annual survey of political and civil rights

Pictured: The couple's hotel room

Questionable: The totalitarian regime ruling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked among the ‘worst of the worst’ in Freedom House’s annual survey of political and civil rights. Pictured right: The couple’s hotel room

He began: ‘We truly hear and understand what some of you are saying and where you’re coming from on our decision to come to Saudi Arabia, but the world is changing for the better and Saudi along with it.

‘Saudi has changed a lot in recent years (we were not allowed here two years ago. Women could not drive nor work – none of these things are the case now).

‘We strongly believe by Saudi opening up to the rest of the world and by tourists being here it has to be more accountable.’

Optics: Entertainment journalist Peter Ford tweeted a link to a news article revealing Saudi Arabia recently 'executed 81 convicts in a single day'

Optics: Entertainment journalist Peter Ford tweeted a link to a news article revealing Saudi Arabia recently ‘executed 81 convicts in a single day’

Backlash: Her Instagram followers were just as savage, with one asking 'We're really promoting Saudi now? With their appalling human rights record??'

Backlash: Her Instagram followers were just as savage, with one asking ‘We’re really promoting Saudi now? With their appalling human rights record??’

He added that the couple are on a trip organised and run ‘solely by women who are here on the ground leading the tour with us, locals included’.

‘This is a big reason we felt comfortable to come,’ he added. ‘Every local we have come across has been wonderful, kind and very grateful to be opening their country to tourism as the times change, and proud of the changes their country is making.’

After saying the couple don’t endorse any of the human rights violations that have previously occurred in Saudi Arabia, he added: ‘We are also not being paid to be here.

‘We are here for ourselves to experience and see a different country and culture as that for us is what travel is all about.

‘We want to see and experience as much of the world as we can – this includes all cultures and religions, whether we follow them, agree with them or not.’

'As a woman and a journalist did you not consider the treatment of both groups in Saudi?' Georgia's Instagram has been flooded with negative comments about her latest holiday

‘As a woman and a journalist did you not consider the treatment of both groups in Saudi?’ Georgia’s Instagram has been flooded with negative comments about her latest holiday

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