People travel to experience new cultures, new emotions, ignite their senses and make memories that last.
For many LGBTIQ people, travel is a way to live freely and be themselves, even if it’s just for a few days, where back home could mean going back to the closet, living in shame and isolated from a like-minded community.
LGBTIQ travellers often tend to be discerning individuals when it comes to choosing destinations to visit.
They primarily choose countries that are safe, and that offer events and places where they can meet a welcoming local and international community.
Countries that recognise the importance of welcoming LGBTIQ travellers stand to gain economically, culturally and socially.
Saying that you’re ‘Gay-Friendly’ and putting up a rainbow flag is not enough. Minorities within the LGBTIQ community still suffer from a lot of prejudice and discrimination because of their race, gender expression, abilities, being trans or a non-binary person, etc.
Governments need to commit fully to equality;
Establishments and organisations that take a proactive approach in ensuring that their staff are adequately trained, need to be recognised;
Reports of harassment, abuse and discrimination must be taken seriously by the forces of Law.
Organisations that offer support services and create events for the LGBTIQ community need to remain supported.
World LGBTQ+ Tourism Day reminds us that beyond our local community, there’s an international community longing to belong and feel welcomed.
Offering a five-star experience comes with establishing a clear strategy and various stakeholders joining forces with a common goal.
Malta can be that experience if we want to!