Anti-LGBT legislation is bad for a country not supporting the gay community, but just how bad? A new report from the Peter Tatchell Foundation highlights how the 71 countries that criminalize homosexuality are losing out on the economic advantages the more progressive nations enjoy.
CMI’s 2017 ‘22nd Annual LGBT Tourism and Hospitality Survey states current favorite international holiday destinations for US LGBT travelers are Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and Italy.
In many emerging economies, travel and tourism is a growing industry and an important sector for boosting economic growth. Yet, many emerging economies have laws against the LGBT community. Countries that criminalize homosexuality are jeopardizing their share of an LGBT travel market estimated to be worth US$211 billion per annually. Moreover, this market is characterized by discerning travel choices, LGBT+ individuals taking a greater number of trips and their increased spending power. Countries that criminalize homosexuality are further hampering their economic prosperity due to losing out on tourism’s ripple effects, including increased employment within tourism-related industries, higher tax revenues and extensive investment in infrastructure
Safety as an LGBT person while on holiday and the destination’s political environment are additional issues that cause concern to the majority of would-be LGBT travelers. CMI’s 2014 Transgender Travel Survey reiterates that the local situation is crucial to LGBT travelers. 45% of respondents cited fear of verbal or physical violence – compounded by a culture of racism and transphobia – as a key travel concern; 22% mentioned rest room issues, such as the availability of gender-neutral rest rooms; and 12% were concerned with lack of protection, both
under the law and due to a lack of police impartiality.
LGBT travelers take certain factors into account when choosing an international travel destination. Local legislation that explicitly discriminates against LGBT+ people can also affect travel choices. Out Now’s LGBT 2020 Study found that for 67% of participants, travel destination plans are influenced either ‘moderately’ or ‘to a great extent’ by laws and rights for local LGBT people. A similar percentage (66%) of respondents from CMI’s 2017 ‘22nd Annual LGBT Tourism and Hospitality Survey’ selected LGBT laws or rules at the destination as a key determinant of holiday destination. This is particularly important as homosexuality is often criminalized in areas that are heavily dependent on tourism.
The Peter Tatchell Foundation (PTF) works for universal human rights with a strong but not exclusive LGBT+ focus. The aims and objectives of the PTF are to raise awareness, understanding, protection and implementation of human rights, in the UK and worldwide. This involves research, education, advice, case work, publicity, lobbying and advocacy for the enforcement and furtherance of human rights law.