Tourism officials in Mexico say they hope to attract gay couples who want to marry in the capital city.

The city became the first capital city to legalise gay marriage in South America last week.

According to Press Association, Alejandro Rojas, the city’s tourism secretary, said: “Mexico City will become a centre, where [gay] people from all over the world will be able to come and have their wedding, and then spend their honeymoon here.

“We are already in talks with some travel agencies that are planning to offer package tours that include flights, hotels, guides, and everything they need for the wedding, like banquets. We are going to become a city on a par with Venice or San Francisco.”

The law was passed on December 21st and will come into force in March.

Gay tourism is seen as a valuable asset to cities. In the US, it is estimated that the yearly economic impact of gay and lesbian visitors is $70 billion.

Mexico has traditionally been a conservative Catholic country but Mexico City has developed a popular and vibrant gay scene in recent years.

Same sex couples have been allowed to enter civil partnerships since 2006 but the new legislation will give gay couples equal rights when it comes to family social security benefits and loans.

The new bill will also give same sex couples the right to adopt.