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“As more and more countries adopt progressive attitudes and even policies to LGBT travelers, we view that as a good thing, as that is opening up dialogue and more tourism,” Tanzella said. “When Argentina passed gay marriage, we saw a boom on our website of people looking for places to stay and things to do in Argentina, because they were either going there for a wedding or a honeymoon.” Yet this created a new situation: “Backlash after the Supreme Court made (U. We just don’t have it in a national perspective, like what Russia is doing.” Countries such as Russia or Uganda are where boycott opponents make exceptions.

“Where governments condone or actually create violence at gay pride events, and have exercised extreme intimidation against their own citizens who happen to gay and lesbian, I won’t go to places like that,” Sheldon said.

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The transformative power of travel is why many in the industry say that, instead of boycotts, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning travelers should see the world and create change.

“I’m not a big fan of boycotts,” said Al Ferguson, founder of Al and Chuck Travel, known for its affiliation with Ru Paul’s “Drag Race” show and their gay Cuba trips, which were designed by Eddie Sotomayor Jr., a victim of the Pulse Orlando massacre.

Go to Russia VISA-FREE and visit marvellous St Petersburg, one of the must-see cities of Europe!

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His travel company was selling a Nile in Style Egypt tour in 2001, soon after the Queen Nile Boat incident, in which 52 gay Egyptian men were arrested and tortured by the government.Is it possible the next movement in LGBT travel is travel as a political act?Going to less-than-welcoming lands not just for the experience but because just going can make a difference?“They tried to tell us that LGBT travelers are welcome, and we said, ‘Well, you may welcome them as visitors, but what are you doing locally for LGBT rights?’ and they said, ‘Oh, LGBT people are treated fairly and equally like everyone else,’” Tanzella said.“We pointed out some recent articles about ‘corrective’ rape and killings and things, and of course they denied those were true.” Uganda demonstrates the difficulties for gay-friendly companies in the developing world, an issue the IGLTA Foundation, a nonprofit created by International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, is working to overcome.

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