Foreign Office urges LGBT holidaymakers to think about pro-LGBT destinations
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is encouraging LGBT couples to research and choose their overseas honeymoon destinations carefully.
The introduction of the FCO’s ‘ Know Before You Go’ campaign comes after a survey conducted by OnePoll found that less than half (46%) of LGBT people investigate whether an area is LGBT-friendly when planning a honeymoon abroad.
One-third of respondents revealed that while they have happy memories of their honeymoon, their experience had been affected by negative location attitudes.
Research also revealed that 52% didn’t feel confident in selecting a destination overseas guaranteed to be LGBT-friendly, but that those aged 18-24 were most likely to do some research beforehand.
The advice states that you should “avoid potentially risky situations – don’t do anything that you wouldn’t at home” and that “excessive physical shows of affection, by both same-sex and heterosexual couples, are often best avoided in public”.
For those using cruising areas or gay dating sites the FCO warns that “police in some countries have been known to carry out entrapment campaigns”.
It added: “Be wary of new-found ‘friends’- criminals sometimes exploit the generally open and relaxed nature of the gay scene”.
John Heppenstall, Head of Consular Campaigns, said: “All couples looking to book and travel abroad for their honeymoon have an abundance of great destinations to choose from.
“But it’s important for same-sex couples to be aware that attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travellers vary considerably around the world and can be very different from those in the UK.”
He added: “It could be the difference between the trip of a lifetime and one you’d both much rather forget.”
Martin Iverson Christensen, European Member of the Board of The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), said: “It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking a holiday abroad, especially for a special occasion like a honeymoon.”
“But finding out how suitable a destination is should be a priority, so we welcome the initiative by the FCO to publish travel advice for LGBTI-people,” he said.
“The ILGA monitors the legislation concerning LGBTI-people closely and our website can give an indication if, for instance, same sex marriage is recognised, or if, on the contrary, being gay or lesbian is considered a crime.”