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    October 19

  • 01:43 AM

TALK BACK: Readers see no reason to focus on gay tourism

Carol Martindale,

Added 07 November 2011

talkbackmartindalecolor

Oh dear, just forget the labels and promote tourism. Don’t confuse gay tourism with sex tourism. That’s the reaction from some NATION online readers after Darcy Dear’s urging Barbados last Friday to focus on gay tourism, which he said was growing worldwide. Dear, the president and founder of the United Gays and Lesbians Association of Barbados (UGLAB), said Barbados hosted more than 400 gays travelling on a cruise ship last Wednesday, adding some had shown interest in investing in the island. Dear’s comments followed the controversy triggered by Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron’s push for reform of homosexuality laws. Here is how some readers responded to Dear’s views. Jana S: “Gay [tourism] should never be compared to sex tourism. There are people who go on cruises to find community, be themselves and enjoy their holidays. Kudos to you, Darcy, for forming a group that could strengthen the cause for gay rights in Barbados, but this is sadly not the approach.” Annetta Worrell: “If gay people want to visit Barbados, they can, no one is stopping them. “I thought Barbados promotes tourism for all people regardless of race, colour, creed or sexual orientation. Government should leave things the way they are and continue promoting tourism without any labels.” Pan Wallie: “Darcy dear, gays come, spend, and go quietly and have been doing that for years. They mostly don’t interfere, they want to enjoy life like anybody else. They will invest if they want to. I see no need for you to jump up and wave trying to advertise the unnecessary. Please!” Albert Barr: “Typically, gay tourists are aware that they are not by any means a majority group and generally tend to stick to themselves. “So much so that our tourism competitor Curacao is developing accommodation and sites to allow gays to share the beauty of their island. Authorities in Barbados might very soon also wish to take a mature look at the pros and cons of gay tourism on this island.” Hugo Todd: “Gay tourism should not be confused with sex tourism. However, the gay market has large disposable income and other markets are courting that revenue. Let’s take a smart business approach to doing things that would generate revenue and create jobs for people who are unemployed.”

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