Nepal Aiming to Attract 200,000 Gays, Lesbians in 2011

Nepal plans to attract around 200,000 sexual minorities including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexes
(LGBTI) during the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY-2011). The Blue Diamond Society

(BDS), an organization representing sexual minorities in the country, has said

that it aims to bring 200,000 i.e. 20 percent such tourists of the total one

million tourists in the NTY-2011. Nepal aims to host one million tourists this

Already gay tourists are responding favorably to the holiday and travel packages offered by Pink Mountain, a travel and tour agency run by sexual

minorities and catering exclusively to LGBTI.
Pink Mountain offers wedding, honeymoon and anniversary packages to domestic as well as international

LGBTI tourists, according to lawmaker and Chairman of Pink Mountain Sunil Babu

Panta. “The agency has also confirmed two more same-sex marriages, trekking and

many more adventures in the first month of its launch,” said Panta.
Most of the LGBTIs coming to Nepal so far have been sexual minorities from two Asian

giants, India and China. Nepal’s liberal policies towards sexual minorities

following a Supreme Court ruling have attracted LGBTIs from many countries.

In 2007, the Supreme Court (SC) of Nepal had directed the government to grant citizenship to LGBTIs and form a same-sex marriage committee to assure

equality of the sexual minorities.
The agency offers grand weddings in national parks and the Everest base-camp, nature trip, adventure and safari,

pilgrimage and meditation facilities to LGBTIs visiting the country. Globally,

gay tourism is estimated to be over US$ 100 billion a year, and Nepal’s gay

entrepreneurs are keen to cash in on it.
“The US alone makes US$ 68 billion every year through gay tourism,” said Panta. “We are one of the fastest

growing South Asian countries to accept the natural characteristics of being

LGBTI. We can reap this benefit to boost the economy of the country.”
A research conducted by the Community Marketing International (CMI) in the United

States found that 98 percent of LGBTIs have at least one overnight trip in a

Gay tourism entrepreneurs are coordinating with the government as well as other commercial organizations this year to attract a large number of

sexual minorities. The BDS organized the same-sex marriage of an Indo-British

couple last August in Nepal.
“So far, the government has extended only moral support to the gay tourism sector,” said Panta. However, he said he was

pleased that the big hotels and resorts have come forward with LGBTI

community-focused events and packages.
“Tiger and Gokarna resorts, Annapurna, Everest, Himalayan and Dwarika hotels are coordinating with us for

the event,” Panta said.

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Shakti Travels & Tours Pvt., Ltd
Shakti Trekking & Expeditions Pvt.,.Ltd
Bardia Jungle Cottage P.Ltd
P.O.Box 913,Lazimpat,Kathmandu,Nepal
Tel: 00977-1- 4428552, 4428729,4428691 Evening 4428590
Cell: 9851026424
Fax: 00977-1- 4428691

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