LGBT tourists change attitudes in Caribbean

Caribbean welcoming despite some old-fashioned laws
The Caribbean is a welcoming place for LGBT travellers, despite the old-fashioned laws of some of the islands, TTG Digital reports.
Carol Hay, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s director of marketing for Europe, told delegates at a recent conference that while homosexuality was still illegal in some countries, attitudes were gradually changing.
She admitted that the laws on some islands prevented tourist boards from actively promoting to the LGBT sector but insisted this did not mean LGBT holidaymakers would not be welcomed.
“You’ll never see ad campaigns from destinations where there are legal restrictions, but they still want to say, ‘welcome to the Caribbean’,” she claimed.
“In those destinations, it will be the private sector that can put those marketing messages out there, but it doesn’t mean that LGBT people can’t go,” she said.
“It’s difficult for Caribbean people to get visas and travel, so some don’t get the chance to leave their communities and increase their understanding. We need a sharing of knowledge. Visitors to islands where homosexuality is illegal are never questioned on arrival and sleeping arrangements are never an issue.”
Hay explained that the Caribbean should not look to segment its tourism products to suit the LGBT market but instead ensure its product “is inclusive for all, no matter what your sexuality, race or physical ability”.
While some Caribbean nationals might have outdated views because of the legal restrictions, Hay said that attitudes are changing – and LGBT holidaymakers can help accelerate that change. “Locals are normally curious about LGBT people more than anything else,” she said.
TTG Digital

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