Gay tourism, or pink tourism as it is sometimes referred, is rising. More and more companies are now starting to offer gay tourism options. So, do travel tours include gay-friendly destinations?
It will be dependent on the travel tour. If a travel tour is labeled as being for gay people, then you can bet your bottom dollar that every single destination will have been vetted for being gay-safe. The same won’t apply to other travel tours, although they may also offer gay-friendly destinations, despite not stating it explicitly.
On this page, we’ll talk a little bit about what we mean! We’ll also let you know how to determine whether gay friendly destinations are included with your selected travel tours.
Do Travel Tours Include Gay-Friendly Destinations?
It will always depend on who is providing the travel tours. The vast majority of travel tours do include gay-friendly destinations, but that is mostly because some of the most traveled to locations are going to be gay-friendly, to a degree.
Of course, the only travel tours that you can guarantee to be 100% gay-friendly are those that have been explicitly targeted at the LGBTQ+ crowd. If something is marketed as being a gay vacation (or something to that effect), then you can be sure that the travel tour will only take you to locations that are safe for gay people, and you’ll probably be mingling with other gay people when you are there.
As we said before, this does not mean that non-gay tours won’t include gay-friendly destinations. However, the onus will be on the traveler to determine whether the trip is suitable for them or not. It also means that they will be losing out on a few of the benefits of using a specialist gay travel tour. We’ll talk more about those shortly, though.
How Do You Know if Travel Tours Include Gay-Friendly Destinations?
If a travel tour states that it is gay-friendly, then you can bet your bottom dollar that everything that you do on that travel tour is going to be gay-friendly. These companies will have highly researched everything about the trip to ensure that it is safe for their customers. In some cases, you may even find that travel tours will include gay-friendly destinations in countries that are traditionally less gay-friendly (although, there may be a few limits here). For example, some travel tour companies will offer gay-friendly trips to the Maldives, despite the country still having some strong anti-gay legislation in place (although, it is nowhere near as strong as it used to be).
As we said, other trips may be gay-friendly. However, unless the trip specifically states that it is gay-friendly, you will have to research the stops on the itinerary. Some of the destinations may not be gay-friendly destinations. However, many gay-friendly tour companies have started to move away from this. They know that if they have even a few travel tour packages that will take people to non-gay-friendly destinations, it could kill their business.
- If the trip is labeled as ‘gay-friendly’ (or words to that effect) then you should assume everything on that trip is gay-friendly.
- If it is not explicitly labeled gay-friendly, then this doesn’t mean that every destination is anti-gay. It just means that the destination wouldn’t have been vetted in the same way. You’ll need to do your own research into it instead!
Thankfully, most companies nowadays should label all gay-friendly trips. This includes some of the bigger tour operators. However, in our experience, the best companies to use for gay-friendly trips will be those that are purely about gay-friendly travel.
The Benefit of Heading to Gay-Friendly Destinations Through Travel Tours
So, we now want to talk a little bit about whether it is worth seeking out those gay-friendly travel tour destinations, or whether you will be fine with choosing just about any old destination for your travel, whether it is overseas or closer to you. We’ll start with the positives.
It is fair to say that traveling as a gay person is much, much harder than traveling as a straight person. After all, no countries have laws against being straight, but plenty have laws against being gay. Even if a country is fine, from a legal perspective, with gay people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall culture is supportive.
This means that gay people that travel are left with two options:
- Don’t show that they are gay overseas, which means they can’t show their true self, which does seem a little bit unfair.
- Research a destination in a huge amount of detail.
When you are gay, planning a travel tour becomes incredibly difficult. You’ll be going through countless websites, reviews, and talking to tons and tons of people. Even the smallest of trips can be quite a headache.
When you go on a travel tour to a gay-friendly destination, then you don’t have to worry about doing the research. You can feel confident knowing that somebody else will be doing the planning for you. This means that your vacation is going to be relaxing. It also means that you do not have to worry about traveling somewhere where there is a risk that you are going to be discriminated against, etc.
Gay travel tours will try to steer people toward gay-friendly activities. For example, you could find yourself partying at gay resorts, nightclubs, and gay-friendly restaurants. The travel tour company may even guide you toward attractions that have special events for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Obviously, not everything that you are going to do will be gay-focused (but will still be gay-friendly), but the travel choices that these travel tour companies make will be good to let you show your true self.
Because everywhere you go will involve a gay-friendly activity, you won’t have to hide who you are at all. You can be whoever you want, whenever you want. This is one of the main reasons why people go on gay-friendly travel tours. It means that they can do something fun which really plays into who they are as a person.
As we said before, if you go on a travel tour that isn’t labeled as gay-friendly, there will probably still be some gay-friendly destinations, but you’ll be heading to places where you can’t really enjoy the gay culture of wherever you are heading which, in our experience, is one of our favorite reasons why we head out on a gay-friendly trip.
Meet New Friends
Obviously, since gay-friendly travel tours are aimed at gay people, it means that when you head on one, you are going to be surrounded by a lot of like-minded people. It becomes a whole lot easier to make friends.
You don’t really get this if you are heading out on a travel tour that is not explicitly labeled as gay-friendly. Sure, you can probably still make a few friends on one of those trips, but you’ll often find that you won’t have as much in common, which could really sour the trip a little bit.
We know that there are a lot of people out there who head out on gay-friendly travel tours simply for the social experience. It makes the trip a whole lot more fun, especially if you are more of a solo traveler. In fact, there are some trips out there that have been designed specifically for the solo travelers, and it may be worth checking some of them out.
Save Money (Sometimes)
In some cases, booking your trip as a travel tour may end up saving you some money. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, many of the top gay-friendly travel tour companies will be able to secure discounts due to the amount of people they send through to certain destinations. These savings can be passed onto you.
Secondly, these trips will often contain everything that you need to enjoy your vacation. For example, if you purchase a gay-friendly package travel tour, then you’ll get your flight, accommodation, and food sorted. This will be much, much cheaper than buying everything separately.
Obviously, you will not always save money when you head out on a gay-friendly trip, and we’ll talk about that shortly. However, even in those cases, the reduction in headaches that you get will be worth anything extra that you need to spend on your trip!
The Downside of Heading to Gay-Friendly Destinations Through Travel Tours
Of course, there are a few downsides to going on travel tours to gay-friendly destinations. Just a couple, in fact. They are quite minor but may swing some of you one way or another.
Limited Travel Destinations
While the number of travel tours featuring gay-friendly travel destinations has been on the rise since the late 2000s, these tours will still not cover the entire world. Most of them will focus purely on locations where there is a large gay community already. Some will steer clear of locations where there is anti-gay legislation or the country isn’t all that receptive to gay people. Although, that is fair enough. We shouldn’t really be supporting those destinations anyway.
The downside is that you will have far, far fewer choices about where you can head on your trip. These gay-friendly travel tours are not really for those who are looking to explore the world and see what is out there. They are mainly aimed at those that want to spend their time associating with a ton of other gay people, albeit in destinations that have been deemed to be incredibly safe for the travelers.
That being said, chances are that you’ll probably find a gay-friendly trip that is perfect for your needs as a traveler. You may need to hunt through a few different companies to find the right destination for your needs, but it shouldn’t be too difficult. There are plenty of options out there from luxury events through to safaris, cruises, and more! There are even family travel tours that are gay-friendly.
Lose Agency Over Planning
This is a major downside of all travel tours, and it is not necessarily limited to the companies that have gay-friendly travel tours.
Depending on the travel tour that you head on, there will often be a very fixed itinerary in place. You are going to be told where you should be at all times. You’ll only be heading to fixed destinations and you’ll have very little time to yourself.
This is something that will likely end up being fine for the vast majority of people. However, if you are not the type of person that wants to be told what to do and prefers a bit more agency over the decision-making process, then you may want to skip using travel tours.
Costs More Money (Sometimes)
Unfortunately, gay-friendly travel tours will sometimes cost a bit more than standard travel tours. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, the LGTBQ+ community is known for spending more cash on traveling, and thus companies will want to try and grab more money from them.
Secondly, these tours don’t sell as well as major tours, and will often involve a lot more marketing and research on the part of the travel tour company. These costs are something that will need to be passed onto the consumer.
If you are fine heading on a travel tour that doesn’t necessarily involve gay-friendly destinations, or gay-focused activities, then you may save more money doing that.
Travel tours do include gay-friendly destinations, although only if they have been specifically marked as being a gay-friendly travel destinations. If the trip doesn’t say it is gay-friendly, then you can assume that not every destination on that trip has been vetted. This doesn’t mean that you will be heading on a tour that includes anti-gay destinations, but you will need to do a little bit of research into the destinations included on the tour itinerary to make sure that it is right for you. It also means that you are going to be missing out on some of the advantages of traveling on a gay-friendly tour.