The US State Department has launched a new website designed to help LGBT travellers.

With homosexuality a criminal offence in more than 76 countries around the world, the website is designed to make LGBT Americans more informed.

Under a quote from former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton of how “gay rights are human rights”, the guide gives general guidelines.

It says any travellers who run into problems should seek help at a US embassy or consulate, and that officials there will “not make generalisations, assumptions, or pass judgement.”

State Department advice includes: “If you intend to frequent Internet chat rooms or other meeting places, it’s wise to find out about the local situation – police in some countries have been known to monitor such sites and locales with the intention of carrying out entrapment campaigns.”

“Avoid excessive physical displays of affection in public, particularly in more conservative countries or regions.”

“Some resorts or LGBT neighborhoods can be quite segregated. Be aware that local residents may not approve of expressions of sexuality when you are in surrounding areas”.

The website also says: “some hotels, especially in rural areas, won’t accept bookings from same-sex couples. It’s best to check before you go.”