Philippines: Three travel companies in the Philippines have formed a new consortium to take advantage of the country’s recent gay friendly image by offering the LGBT community tours to domestic as well as foreign destinations.
The consortium called Outings consists of Rajah Travel Corp, Afro Asian Travel and Tours, and Travel Warehouse, began marketing and sales to offer tours to and from the Philippines that are free of discrimination, according to ttgasia.com.
“The LGBT market is an untapped market for the Philippines, which itself is a young market,” Alberto Santos, overall in charge for products and marketing, Rajah Travel Corp, was reported as saying, adding that the consortium wanted to offer products in markets that clients will feel safe and welcome, and not discriminated against.
Jaison Yang, Travel Warehouse’s general manager, however made it a point to say “Ours are not tours with an LGBT element, they’re gay-friendly tours designed specifically for the market.”
Elaborating, Yang said his Bali ‘Sparty’ tours for example, will take travelers to LGBT-friendly spas and ‘pink’ beaches. Other tours will also cover destinations in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Singapore.
Afro Asian Travel and Tours says it is planning programs for Manila, Cebu, Boracay, and Palawan in the Philippines, which may include a “rainbow run” or expo. Couple-oriented itineraries can also be included for Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
Angel Bognot, president of Afro Asian, said it has already begun promoting Outings products to clients in Europe and North America.
“We’re testing the market…We want to see if the products will be accepted, and if this will really grow into a market of its own,” said Santos.
A recent Gallup survey showed that about 10 percent of the population in the Philippines are gay and that the Philippines is one of the countries in the world where the level of public “acceptance” of LGBT people is high, according to results of the survey.
Many local city and provincial governments have passed ordinances protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people against discrimination.