New research from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office suggests whilst fewer than 50% of LGBT couples research whether a destination is LGBT-friendly before travelling there, 30% experienced negative attitudes during their trip.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is encouraging LGBT couples holidaying or honeymooning abroad to choose their destination with care after new research suggested that less than half (46%) of LGBT people investigate how open different countries are to the LGBT community.
The survey , which comes just six months after the introduction of marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales, also found that one in five LGB&T people planning their honeymoon did not research their destination at all before booking.
Laws and attitudes relating to LGBT people vary significantly from country to country, and can be alarmingly different to those in the UK. In some countries same sex relationships can be punishable by a prison or even death.
Happily, most same-sex newlyweds return from their honeymoon with wonderful memories, but nearly a third of the FCO’s survey respondents (30%) said their experience had been marred by negative local attitudes towards gay people.
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“It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking a holiday abroad,” says Martin Iversen Christensen, European Member of the Board of ILGA, “especially fr a special occasion like a honeymoon. But finding out how suitable a destination is should be a priority.”
“Our most important piece of advice is to always fully research your destination before booking. It could be the difference between the trip of a lifetime and one you’d both much rather forget.” John Heppenstall, Foreign Commonwealth Office
The survey findings also revealed that:
- More than half (52%) didn’t feel confident in selecting a destination overseas that is LGB&T-friendly
- Sources of information used for researching destinations included LGB&T media and organisations (46%) and family and friends (30%)
- The youngest group surveyed (18-24 years old) were most likely to research attitudes towards LGB&T people abroad, while those aged 55 years and older were least likely
- Taking the time to research thoroughly can help you ensure your holiday or honeymoon is a happy and safe trip of a lifetime.
A few months ago, we created an infographic highlighting our recommendations for LGBT-friendly honeymoon and holiday destinations based around romance, culture and adventure. View it here. For information and advice on travelling abroad, visit gov.uk/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-foreign-travel-advice.