Malta Is The World's Best Destination For LGBTQ Travelers, Saudi Arabia Not So Much

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jun 07, 2024 - 06:45 AM

In order to help LGBTQ+ tourists travel safely, the German portal Spartacus started publishing the Gay Travel Index in 2012. In the 2024 edition, the ranking compared 213 countries and territories based on the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people in each location.

As Statista's Anna Fleck reports, according to the index, last year’s leading destination Malta is joined at the top by Spain, Canada, New Zealand and Portugal as the safest and most open places for LGBT+ travelers in 2024, with each of these five countries receiving 12 points. According to the report, Estonia made the greatest improvements in the past year, obtaining 6 points (in contrast to the previous index’s 2 points). This was thanks to the approval of the law in 2023 to legalize equal marriage. The first Latin American country to appear in the 2024 ranking is Uruguay, sharing the third position along with Denmark, Iceland, Germany and Norway, with 10 points each.

Infographic: The Best and Worst Countries for LGBTQ+ Travelers | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

At the other end of the spectrum come Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Republic of Chechnya in Russia and Afghanistan, all with a score of -21 points, signaling that they are dangerous countries for LGBT+ travelers, where homosexuals are persecuted and killed. Russia too features far down this list (-17 points), having once again “significantly tightened its anti-LGBT+ legislation and equates the movement with extremist organizations."

In Asia, Taiwan scores highest, placing in the 13th rank joint with Sweden, Luxembourg, Ireland, Finland, Colombia, Chile and Austria. According to Spartacus, Thailand could move up the rank this year in light of the new bill on same-sex marriage which looks likely to become law in 2024. India comes in rank 44, joint with Guam, Gibraltar and Ecuador.

To develop the index, the creators looked at 18 categories ranging from marriage for all to the death penalty for LGBTQ+ people. The creators focus on political decisions affecting queer people, the legal framework and whether there are episodes of violence against them, among other parameters.

According to the authors of the report, the index is intended with all kinds of travelers in mind, including those looking to travel to countries where the LGBT+ community is an accepted and loved part of society as well as for those consciously looking to travel to a country in order to enter into a dialogue with the oppressed local queer community.