Goa will host a group tour for gays this October, a few months after homosexuality was decriminalised in India by a Delhi high court ruling.
Puneet Kumar manager of Indjapink, a Delhi-based travel boutique specializing in customised travel for gay men in India, said that Goa was one of the most sought after destinations for the gay tourist community in the country and across the world.
"The tour to Goa has been scheduled from Oct 1 to Oct 4. It will be the most spectacular event in the Indian gay calendar. We are offering at least three to four such tours each year," Kumar told IANS on phone from Delhi.
He added that the tour, which was announced this month, was nearly sold out.
"Indjapink has received queries from gay travellers travelling to India from around the world. A major chunk comes from countries in western Europe and the United States," Kumar said, adding that the recent court ruling had helped in altering the perception of gay tourists travelling to India.
"Now, gay travellers from around the world will feel much more comfortable to travel to India without the fear of any discrimination against them," Kumar said.
He added that there was a marked upsurge in the gay tourism business after the court ruling striking down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
"People started coming out and talking about gay culture without the fear of being discriminated against or harassed. They feel much freer to travel now without the fear of any victimization," he said.
Indjapink's group tour to Goa will include two exclusive parties for participants and Goa's gay community will also be invited to enhance interaction with the visitors. "We will also invite the gay community of Goa. In this way, people will come to know each other. They can meet, interact and make friends with each other," Kumar said.
He also said that the happy go lucky attitude, a predominant attribute of Goan society, had made Goa a top tourist destination for the gay community.
"The happy go lucky and a more positive attitude makes Goa a remarkable destination for tourists to visit," Kumar said.