As North Carolina loses millions over its anti-LGBT law, a neighbouring state is hoping to break in to the market as a gay tourist destination.

North Carolina has lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB 2 – which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.

A projected cost of the battle so far, totting up the economic losses and legal costs, reaches a mind-blowing $395 million.

But things are very different in the state’s northerly neighbour, Virginia – which is marketing itself as a gay tourist destination.

Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe this week released an adorable video urging LGBT tourists to come to his state.

It comes as he announced a range of new LGBT tourism marketing efforts with his LGBT Tourism Task Force – signalling a range of LGBT-friendly destinations across his state, and even launching a rainbow variant of the state tourism body’s ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ logo.

The Governor said: “Virginia is proud to be an open and welcoming destination for every visitor attracted by our scenic mountains and beaches, as well as our world-renowned restaurants, wineries and breweries.

“I am pleased the Virginia Tourism Corporation has created this landing page to connect travellers with inclusive, LGBT-friendly establishments across the Commonwealth.

“Virginia is truly for lovers, and we hope you have an unforgettable experience visiting the greatest state in the greatest nation on Earth!”

The state calculates that it could make big bucks from LGBT travellers, who spend an estimated $57 billion in the US annually.