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Happy times for gay travellers

Dedicated agencies and special packages mean a big boost for gay tourism in India.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2011 00:35 IST
Roma Arora

Gay travellers never had it so good. As more and more people in the country are recognising gay rights, travel and tour operators, too, have lapped up the opportunity to woo the gay community. Believe it or not, in the last few months itself, a number of travel agencies have set shop in the city, catering entirely to gay travellers.

A popular concept abroad, a gay tour operator deals with travel packages meant exclusively for the LGBT community. “Often gay foreigners are worried about the legal environment in India, and they don’t feel secure enough. Gay agencies help in making them feel comfortable. We offer customised packages — be it honeymoon, spiritual, weddings or surrogacy tours,” says Abhinav Goel, owner of outjourneys.com, a travel agency for the gay.

gay kissersSuraj Laishram, owner of another gay travel agency Indjapink.com, says, "Lot of gay foreigners from Europe, Australia and Canada come to explore India. We also, take them to exclusive gay parties in India."

Rajat Singla of Pink Vibgyor, another gay travel agency says, “Gay travellers want to explore India, but they don’t want to get embarrassed. So, we ensure sure that our guides are gay friendly.”

Gay activists say that this new trend is perhaps a ripple effect of what has been happening abroad. For instance, Purpledrag.com, a gay travel agency based in Bangkok, regularly conducts tours to India. “Most of our customers travel to India for the culture, cuisine and history,” says Douglas Thompson from Purpledrag.com.

Elaborating on this trend, Aditya Bandyopadhyay, lawyer and a gay activist, says, “It’s great that gay travel agencies are coming up. This will actually help boost the country’s tourism.” According to guides Rajasthan, Varanasi and Khajurao are hottest gay destinations.