ONE in three LGBT travellers feel they are treated differently due to their sexuality when on holiday.
According to a recent report by Virgin Holidays, 37% of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender) travellers have experienced some form of discrimination whilst on holiday, with 6% experiencing a threat of physical violence due to their sexuality.
The report also highlighted that sexuality had a major influence on where LGBT Brits travelled, with two thirds (63%) refusing to travel somewhere that had an unwelcoming attitude towards the LGBT community.
Furthermore a quarter (23%) change the way they act and try to camouflage their sexuality when on holiday.
Most alarmingly, an overwhelming 80% said that the travel industry don’t do enough to inform the LGBT community about local laws prior to departure.
Sir Richard Branson said: “At Virgin Holidays, we believe everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to be whoever they are, wherever they are.
“That’s why it is shocking that in today’s society some of us can’t even enjoy a simple holiday without fear of discrimination.
“It’s fantastic that Virgin Holidays are raising awareness around this important issue.”
Virgin Holidays has developed a range of plans to address the issues faced by the LGBT community when travelling from staging an equalities conference in conjunction with international tourism partners, encouraging partners in conservative regions such as the Caribbean to adopt more LGBT-friendly policies to joining lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality Stonewall, as a Diversity Champion.
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall CEO, said: “It’s difficult for travel companies to negotiate the ever-changing landscape around global LGBT equality.
“Travel companies should be doing everything they can to keep their staff and customers safe when travelling anywhere in the world.
“We would love to see others join forces with Virgin Holidays and work towards a world where lesbian, gay, bi and trans people feel able to travel freely without fear of discrimination, and are accepted without exception.”