Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019
The Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019: Every year, the German publisher of gay travel information and guide books releases the annual Gay Travel Index with a detailed ranking of 197 LGBTQ+ friendly countries worldwide. In the 7th edition, Berlin-based Spartacus gives lesbian, gay and queer travelers information about how gay-friendly a holiday destination is according to several ranking factors and criteria collecting enough information about LGBTQ+ friendliness and livability for locals. Gay travelers can use this information to prepare for their gaycation as well as taking it as a piece of advice for choosing the holiday destination.
The Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019
The guys behind Spartacus check each country on 14 criteria including anti-discrimination legislation, the possibility of equal marriage or civil partnership, if adoption is allowed, the actual situation of transgender rights, HIV travel restrictions as well as the current situation about how hostile locals are against LGBTQ+. The ranking of the Spartacus Gay Travel Index 2019 is based on diverse sources such as Human Rights Watch, the UN campaign Free & Equal and collected information about human rights violations of members of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the past year.
Homophobic violence: Germany loses 20 ranks
In 2018, Germany was one of the greats ranking among the top three gay-friendly countries worldwide according to Spartacus Gay Travel Index (Couple of Men reported). This year, due to a significant increase of homophobic violence against the LGBTQ+ community, Germany loses 20 places ranking on 23rd in 2019. “The absence of modern transgender legislation, as well as the absence of an action plan against homophobic violence, let Germany crash from the 3rd to the 23rd rank”, Blu Media reports. Brazil and the USA experience a similar decrease in 2019 due to the fact, that the Brazilian right-wing government and the US-administration running initiatives trying to take back accomplishments of LGBTQ+ rights.
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Austria & India rising stars of the year
Austria and India are positive stars in 2019. India jumps from rank 104 to 57 due to the decriminalization of gay sex by the Indian Supreme Court in September 2018. Additional to the legislation, an improvement of the public opinion towards the LGBTQ+ by Indian society. This was noticeable for example during Mumbai Pride 2019 celebrated in February. Other positive changes of legislation such as in Trinidad and Tobago result in an increase of the Gay Travel Index ranking as well. Thanks to the introduction of equal marriage in Austria and Malta, both countries now rank among the top 5 gay-friendly countries worldwide which means a huge jump of 10 ranks for Austria in 2019.
Gay-Friendly Countries traveled by Couple of Men
Rank 1: Canada
Once again, our favorite gay travel destination made it all the way to the top. In our opinion, deservedly so. In the past two years, we traveled to Canada five times in total starting with our Winter road trip through Alberta to attend Jasper Pride Gay Ski Week visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Last summer, we attended Edmonton Pride and did an adventurous road trip around Alberta’s northeastern lakes just after we visited Toronto and the Canadian Niagara Falls close to the US border. And again, after 2018, we started our pride travel year 2019 with a trip to the North American country attending Whistler Pride Gay Ski Week. And we are more than certain, that this wasn’t our last trip to Canada.
Rank 1: Sweden
Last year, we traveled for the first time ever together to the Scandinavian country Sweden to explore the capital city Stockholm just before Europride 2018. And, what can we say, we fell in love with the country of ABBA with its wonderful people, exquisite cuisine and rich culture from the royal family to hip gay and LGBTQ+ locations like Secret Garden and regularly organized gay parties like King Kong. And don’t get us started with Stockholm’s 250 years old theme park Tivoli Gröna Lund and the MAMMA MIA The Party Musical. We are looking forward to seeing more of Sweden, hopefully already in 2019!
Rank 4: Finland
After 2016, we traveled to Finland again last year to explore more of one of our favorite European city in 2018. The city of Helsinki and Finland, in general, is a very gay-friendly destination which we still can recommend to visit for LGBTQ+ travelers. As a reminder: Since March 2017 same-sex marriage is legal and fully excepted in Finland. No wonder, that we did not experience any kind of homophobic behavior but instead, we were able to test some great gay-friendly hotels like the Klaus K Hotel in Helsinki’s city center. Other highlights of both our trip to Helsinki: a visit to Löyly Sauna, theme park Linnanmäki and, of course, the exploring beauty of the Finnish nature by kayak and bike. Hopefully, we will be back soon to see more of this beautiful country in Scandinavia, maybe for Helsinki Pride Festival?
Rank 4 (was #15): Austria
Vienna, Salzburg, Southern Austria: The Alpine country stole our heart. Although the current government is considered to be conservative, right-wing and offish towards the LGBTQ+ community, the Austrian government was forced by law to introduce gay-marriage by January 2019. After spending the last two summers there including a Conchita Wurst concert in Salzburg, the Life Ball 2018 in Vienna and a wonderful week in the South of Austria attending the Pink Lake Festival at Lake Wörth, we cannot wait to continue our gay travels to Austria to make the country even gayer. What about EuroPride 2019 as the next adventure?
Rank 4: Malta
Many people asked us in 2018, why Malta wasn’t listed as one of the gay-friendly countries at the Gay Travel Index 2018. Correctly. But since the South European country just recently changed the laws protecting LGBTQ+ rights, introducing equal marriage and allow adoption, the mostly Catholic country made one of the biggest jumps all the way up to rank 4. Good to know: Malta was the first country in the European Union to prohibit the use of conversion therapy, Germany is currently still fighting for. We traveled to Malta last November for the first time attending the first ever LGBTQ+ travel summit in the capital city Valetta. We loved our time there hoping to be back for Gay Pride in 2019 or 2020 since we learned it must be one of the best in Southern Europe. Stay tuned, we are sure we will hear from Malta’s LGBTQ+ community more in the near future.
Rank 4: Netherlands
Our home country The Netherlands, or as you might know it Holland, is for years already among the top 10 LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world. Already in 2001, on April 1st to be precise, the European country legalized same-sex marriage by law and was thereby the first country in the world. Although Holland is very openminded and gay-friendly, there is still much work to do to reduce prejudices among the people and keep on being an example of an LGBTQ+ friendly society. If you get the chance to put a trip to Amsterdam on your bucket list, come and join us for the pride walk 2019 and one week later for the unique canal pride parade. Definitely an annual highlight for us!
Rank 4: Spain
Spain is among the top gay-friendly countries in the world, again! A little history: The Spanish government legalized same-sex marriage already in 2005 and made the south European country to one of the leading LGBTQ+ friendly places in the world. Lucky us, we were able to travel already several times starting with our City Weekend to Barcelona and our first Gay Cruise with La Demence. In the meanwhile, we managed to visit Malaga, Ibiza, Cadiz, and during our second The Cruise Adventure we were able to explore all of the big Canary islands including La Palma, Lanzarote, and Gran Canaria. The Spanish capital city Madrid and the North of Spain is still on our bucket list and is just waiting for us to be explored for our gay travel blog. Looking forward to meeting you there guys!
Rank 23 (after rank 3 in 2018): Germany
Last year, Germany was surprisingly one of the countries with the best development regarding LGBTQ+ rights. But the country is a good example of how a positive development (same-sex marriage since 2017) is not just for a moment. It is an ongoing process of educating society about diversity. As mentioned earlier, much needs to be done in the future to keep the positive spirit in Germany and to develop an even more welcoming mindset among the people. Nevertheless, Germany, the home country of Karl is still a gay-friendly country and destination despite the current ranking. But especially in the countryside in eastern and southern Germany, LGBTQ+ travelers who show their attractions towards each other in public might face homophobia. Cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, and Frankfurt are popular destinations for gays and lesbians to travel to. It is important to support the German LGBTQ+ community even in 2019 by attending one of the 60+ Gay Pride and CSD Parades throughout the whole country. Keep going – Happy Pride Germany!
Thailand, Japan & Latin America under surveillance
Several countries, like Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and Switzerland are expected to make a jump up in 2019. Reasons for that are the discussions about possible equal marriage legislation. Thailand for example, already increased their ranking from 47 to rank 20 in 2019 because of an Anti-Homophobia campaign and the expected legalization of civil unions. In the case of the changes, Thailand could become the most gay-friendly country in Asia. Unbelievable but true, there are still countries around the world with anti LGBTQ+ legislation, prohibitions of organizing Gay Pride Events and even penalize being gay, lesbian, trans or simply different from the norm, mostly influenced by religion, even in 2019. Among them are Iran, Saudi-Arabia, and parts of Nigeria. Very close to Europe but the worst country to travel to for LGBT and gay couples is the autonomous republic Chechen in Russia, where persecution, the death penalty and punishment of LGBTQ+ people have been reported. Among the un-friendliest countries (but no death threat) are popular holiday destinations like Malaysia, Jamaica, Egypt Marocco, Russia as well as the Maldives and Haiti. Gay, lesbian, transsexual and queer travelers should exercise extra caution when traveling to these parts of the world.
Tips & Reviews: Gay Travel Know How
- Gay-friendly Travel: The Gay Travel Index 2018 >
- Gaycation Planning: Our Gay Travel Guides 2019 >
- Gay Events: Top 5 LGBTQ+ events in 2019 >
- Photos & Video & Stories: Gay Pride Parades Worldwide >
- LGBTQ+ Winter Events: Top 13 Gay Ski Weeks Worldwide >
- Traveling as a Couple with our Couple of Men Blog Articles >
- Reviews of Hotels around the world: Gay-friendly tested Hotels >
- News Legislation, Events, and any LGBTQ+ related Travel News >
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Gay Travel Index by Spartacus for 2019
- Website Spartacus Gay Guide
- Facebook of Spartacus Travel
- Website ILGA – LGBTI Association
- Website IGLTA – Gay Lesbian Travel Association
About Spartacus International Gay Guide
You all might have heard already of the International Gay Travel Guides from the German publisher Spartacus. If not, you might wanna have a closer look the next time you are traveling as they are providing helpful information for your next gay travels about Bars, Sauna, Events, Going Out, and Hotels. And, of course, check their annual Spartacus Gay Travel Index. But be advised: the Gay Travel Index by Spartacus for this year is supposed to be a guide to check the gay-friendliness of vacation hot spots in Europe and worldwide. Even if a county is ranked is low or high, please check the current official status of the tourism board of the country or ask for advice from the nearest representative office of the country you want to travel to.