Supreme Court’s decision opens up India for the LGBT market

Photo credit Amit Bittoo Dey

Specialist travel company, OUT in INDIA, comes out to support LGBT travellers to India

On September 6, 2018, India's Supreme Court ruled that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a fundamental violation of rights.

Until now, India was one of more than 70 countries where homosexuality is criminalised.

Product & Marketing Director, Out in India, Mark Snoxell, made comment “For a number of reasons, many LGBT travellers boycott countries where being gay is illegal, so now we can expect the interest to grow quickly.”

Out in India literally came out this month with the focus being on:

  • Bringing LGBT travellers products and experiences that connect them more effectively with the local communities

  • Encouraging LGBT locals to come out and be active in the Indian tourism industry and reinvesting in this growth

A current project of Out in India and its partners is identifying locals who are interested in participating in openly providing their services to the inbound LGBT market, with priority being guides, homestays, chefs & artists.

“It’s taken the change in law to enable is to start being truly proactive”, Snoxell said, adding “it’s not a case of simply putting up a rainbow flag and being able to blare Kylie in their chauffeur driven car!”

“There are many companies promoting ‘Gay & Lesbian Tours’ in India that really don’t understand the complexities of this growing sector and are in danger of damaging their brand integrity if they are not being authentic.”

Despite the Indian Supreme Court legalising same sex relationships this month, it did not consider the question of same sex marriage. The Indian government has made no movement to legalise same sex marriage with an apparent resistance to do so at present.

Same sex couples interested to tie the knot in India, are advised that travel companies & wedding planners promoting gay weddings across the country, are only able to able to facilitate commitment ceremonies and not legally recognised weddings.

Out in India officially launches later next month and have reported that they are already managing a steady stream of diverse enquires.

“It’s only early days with a lot of hard work ahead, though we are very excited with what we already have in the pipeline and looking forward to bringing these to market soon”