The Canadian city of Vancouver is the number one travel destination for gay and lesbians in the USA, a new survey has revealed.

For the second year running, Canada beat the UK as the top international choice for gay travellers.

The west coast city of Vancouver, famed for its cosmopolitan restaurants and relaxed atmosphere, has been assiduously courting US gays and lesbians.

After consulting with their own gay community, the city’s tourism chiefs created a separate area on their website for pink visitors.

Tourism Vancouver has also been running promotional competitions and campaigns aimed at American gays and lesbians.

The east coast cities of Montreal and Toronto were in second and third place in the survey of 7,500 people conducted by Community Marketing Inc.

A major factor for Americans in choosing Canada, aside from its proximity and similar culture, is the fact that gay marriage is legal north of the border.

Although the ceremonies carry no legal weight back in the USA, for many couples the opportunity to declare their love and commitment is a powerful reason for paying a visit to their liberal neighbours.

Vancouver is often rated one of the best cities to live in worldwide and will host the 2010 Winter Olympics.