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Nepal to use lesbians, gays to boost tourism sector

world Updated: Oct 22, 2009 13:18 IST

Nepal is set to use lesbians and gays to boost its tourism sector, which has been adversely impacted after the country went through a devastating decade-long Maoists' insurgency and political instability.

Almost three years after the Supreme Court gave legal sanction to gay rights in Nepal, the government to set to host "one of the most extravagant groups of tourists in the world" — the sexual minorities consisting of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgenders (LGBTs).

The government has held a series of meetings with well-known international tour operators and non-profit organisations to promote Nepal as a potential destination for LGBTs, the Kantipur online said on Thursday.

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) officials hope that LGBT arrivals will give a boost to the number of visitors to the country as the government mulls new way to bring in a million foreign tourists in the Nepal Tourism Year 2011.

"Some international companies want to work in tandem with the government and attract LGBTs. We will develop strategies for the same," said an NTB official. "The beginning is encouraging," he was quoted as saying by the Kantipur online.

As part of the first promotional activity, Nepal will host a historic international conference in February, which is expected to bring together the world’s top tour operators, airlines and agencies selling adventure tourism to Kathmandu to explore opportunities for gay tourism in Nepal, the report said.