Research shows how one in three LGBT travelers experience homophobic or transphobic treatment while on holiday. It adds that more than one in three (37%) LGBT travelers have experienced some form of discrimination while on holiday, with 6% experiencing a threat of physical violence due to their sexuality.
It also highlighted that sexuality had a major influence on where LGBT Brits travelled, with two thirds (63%) declining to travel somewhere that had an unwelcoming attitude towards the LGBT community.
Moreover, the reports states that a quarter (23%) of LGBT travelers admit to changing the way they act and try to camouflage their sexuality when on holiday. What's alarming is that 80% said that the travel industry doesn't inform the LGBT community about local laws prior to departure.
According to Pink News, in 2014, a British tourist Ray Cole got jailed in Morocco for 20 days after falling foul of the country's anti-homosexuality laws. Another gay Brit Marco Bulmer-Rizzi encountered a shocking treatment when his husband suddenly died on their honeymoon in Australia last 2015. Since Australia does not recognize same-sex marriage, Mr. Bulmer-Rizzi was told that his husband's death certificate would read "never married".
"At Virgin Holidays, we believe everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to be whoever they are, wherever they are. That's why it is shocking that in today's society some of us can't even enjoy a simple holiday without fear of discrimination. It's fantastic that Virgin Holidays are raising awareness around this important issue," Sir Richard Branson said.
Manchester Evening News reports that Virgin Holidays will encourage partners in conservative regions to adopt more LGBT-friendly policies. Stonewall will also work closely to this plan and will focus on empowering staff, informing customers, and influencing partners.
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO, said: "It's difficult for travel companies to negotiate the ever-changing landscape around global LGBT equality.
"Travel companies should be doing everything they can to keep their staff and customers safe when travelling anywhere in the world.
"We would love to see others join forces with Virgin Holidays and work towards a world where lesbian, gay, bi and trans people feel able to travel freely without fear of discrimination, and are accepted without exception."
This article is copyrighted by Travelers Today, the travel news leader