Escape to Thailand – Asia: Queer Paradise
By, Angelina Lacrosse
Thailand has just hosted the first LBGT+ Travel Symposium: Thailand in an effort to be even more inclusive to travelers. The country, which boasts a huge amount of gay bars and nightclubs, is already known for being a safe place for same-sex couples. They are now making an official effort to welcome diverse travelers who identify as LGBTQ. The tourism industry currently makes up 18% of Thailand’s GDP, which is nearly double the amount of an average country. LGBTQ tourism is currently valued at $200 billion globally and growing exponentially.
Srisuda Wanapinyosak of the Tourism Authority of Thailand spoke at the Symposium saying, “Our aim is to see exponential growth in Thailand as a LGBT+ destination, and we hope to be a model for this segment. We are proud that LGBTQ travellers can stay anywhere in Thailand with a complete peace of mind. Our kingdom is open to every possible shade under the rainbow.”
Tourism aside, Thai people have been working hard to gain equal rights for the LGBT community. A Life and Partnership bill, which would allow same-sex couples to enter into a civil marriage, is set to go before a legislative assembly before the end of this year.
Thailand is an extraordinarily safe and welcoming country for LGBT+ travelers and definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list!