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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

For gay tourists, all roads lead to the Capital

Manoj Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 02, 2013
First Published: 23:57 IST(2/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:00 IST(3/2/2013)

The Capital is going pink. Thanks to its 'gay-friendly' attitude, Delhi is fast emerging as the preferred tourist destination among international LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) travellers.

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Tour operators who cater only to the community say business is booming, helped by pubs, clubs, spas and events aimed at gay clientele only.

Abhinav Goel, who runs Out Journeys, said in the past one year, he has organised tours for about 400 LGBT travellers.

"Our business has more than doubled since the company opened three years ago," he said.

Goel is one of many tour operators cashing in on the trend that started after homosexuality was decriminalised in India 2009.

Bhuvan Mehta, who launched Pink Escapes last year, offers an interesting itinerary to his clients, including the chance to attend an Indian wedding, meetings with "talented people from the LGBT community" and visits to gay-friendly establishments.

And what exactly makes an establishment 'gay-friendly'?

According to tour operators, the only hotels that make the cut include ones where staff don't behave awkwardly if they see two women holding hands or two men asking for a double bed.


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