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Picking a holiday destination is hard for everyone, but out gay and lesbians couples have to deal with the added problem of discrimination. Obviously, traditionally conservative or religious countries aren’t an option – but did you know that popular spots like Jamaica, Barbados and Belize have harsh anti-homosexuality laws?
That’s their loss. “Pink” tourism, as it is sometimes called, is worth over CAD $80 billion a year – a huge potential market that more and more tourism boards are actively courting. Big cities, especially those which host large gay pride festivities, have been the first to take advantage of this market, but smaller communities and adventure-based travel companies are jumping on the bandwagon. One sign LGBT tourism is becoming fully mainstream? “Gay Days” at Disney World and DisneyLand.
The appeal of all those tourism dollars is strong. In May 2012, the Jamaica Observer published a piece on gay tourism in South Africa and pointed out that “it may be worth noting worldwide [marketing] trends.” The message is clear: there’s a lot of “pink” money out there, and it will go where it’s welcome.