‘LGBTQ associated or not, India is safe’

LGBTQ travel studies in 2020-21 reveal that LGBTQ travellers are willing to travel. Loann Halden, Vice President, Communications,  IGLTA and Tom Kiely, Board Member, IGLTA, want the world to know how India is a safe and comfortable country to travel irrespective of whether you are LGBTQ associated or not.

Janice Alyosius

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) travellers face unique challenges while travelling. IGLTA is the leading global organisation dedicated to connecting businesses in the LGBT tourism industry with travellers. Loann Halden, Vice President Communications, IGLTA, said that LGBTQ+ travellers look out for comfortable travelling. They want to be very sure where they are going and that they are going to feel welcome there. So, the association wants the world to know that India qualifies as the right place to travel. “From US perspective, India is viewed as a very exotic destination, it is a very aspirational place that a lot of Americans would like to come to. There is always that level of comfort that travellers feel and that is a message we want to spread, that India is a very safe country, a very fair country, a very comfortable place, an enjoyable place to come and visit, irrespective of whether you are LGBTQ associated or not,” Halden said.

LGBTQ travel studies in 2020-21 find that LGBTQ travellers are willing to travel. “LGBTQ travellers want to see more of the world and find their community wherever they go. And I think that becomes an important part of the travel experience,” said Tom Kiely, Board Member, IGLTA.

Kiely added that LGBTQ travellers want to engage in different kinds of activities like any other traveller, but they are more interested in travelling in their own space versus spending time in largely populated groups in small space. But that trend flipped when Pride events or LGBTQ events were hosted. And then the numbers went back up again, that desire to connect with the community rose.

IGLTA has a lot of tools on their website to educate people and create awareness. “We have around 30 travel guides on our website,” he said.

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