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Hotels Hit by Gay Discrimination Ruling

January 23, 2014 12:18 pm Category: Asia, Community, Latest News, social responsibility A+ / A-

India Gay

Hotels and tour operators in India are already feeling the effect of the recriminilization of homosexuality, introduced by the Supreme Court last month.
Overturning the 2009 ruling of the Delhi High Court decriminalizing homosexual behaviour, the decision has not only alienated India’s gay population, but also threatened the existence of hotels that have welcomed pink tourism.
Many of India’s hotels have embraced the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) traveller community, and joined the World Rainbow Hotels (WRH) group, which caters to the LGBT market. Business such as Taj Mahal, New Delhi Taj Lake Palace and the Park Chennai have teamed up with WRH, following a criteria set out by the organisation including the hotel’s characteristics, location, local gay scene information, non-discrimination policies and involvement with the LGBT community. Another of the WRH’s selection criteria looks at whether homosexuality is legal in that country.
According to a report in The Times of India, New Delhi tour operator Rajat Singla said the verdict has already impacted bookings received from LGBT travellers.
“We were organizing a two-week north India tour for a group of international travellers priced at $5,000 per head, which has just been cancelled,” said Mr Singla.
Mr Singla, chief director of the dedicated LGBT company, Pink Vibgyor said when the travel service began operation after the 2009 decriminilization of homosexuality, the company took around 40 bookings. Since that time, the operator’s traffic has increase to around 1,000 bookings, with about 75 per cent of all bookings being made by Australians.
With the archaic law back in place that states, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine,” India’s hospitality and tourism sector may risk serious loss of income from, and alienate the world’s LGBT population.

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