Gay Tourism in India; a trumpet for the Pink Rupee?


The subject of homosexuality definitely raises an eyebrow or two in India and so would happen if one broaches the topic of gay tourism. But after the decriminalization of homosexuality by the Delhi High Court on 2nd July 2009, the tolerance has grown to a certain extent.

Numerous researches have tried to estimate the percentage of homosexual population in any given region and all these researches show that around 5 to 10% of any population is homosexual. Even if we consider other factors like pressure from the society and a wish for secrecy, there would be at least 2% of the population that is homosexual and for a gargantuan country like India, this number reaches 26 million. This leads one to an alluring business proposition- The Pink Rupee.

Post 2009, quite a few services have cropped up catering to the needs of homosexuals. Indjapink and OutJourneys are two of the most notable services which act as travel agents to gays. These ventures arrange an entire trip for a gay couple or group looking for a holiday in India. Thailand and Malaysia are the hotspots for gay tourism but India can soon be at a level pegging with these countries looking at the kind of response it has been generating in the International market.

The Pink Rupee holds immense value as most of the gay couples have a considerable amount of disposable income. Two working members with no kids is the usual scenario and a desire to live to the fullest allows the pink economy to flourish. There weren’t any gay tourism companies a few years ago but now the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) lists seven such travel agents in India and further down, one can certainly expect a flurry in this segment.

Is the burgeoning gay tourism in India a pointer to more such services which would explore the power of the Pink Rupee? Let us know what you think.    

- Jubin Mehta


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