LGBTQ Travel Awards Announced by Trip.Com

on

Poland - Daryna Khomyk

The world is not always a safe place for LGBT travelers. There are numerous safety issues we need to keep in mind when planning our summer vacations and holidays, and that’s why Trip.com has comprised a list of LGBTQ destinations that are ranked according to safety. The 2017 Rising Stars Destinations list includes cities that have seen the most growth as LGBT-friendly places, and this year’s top ranking destinations may surprise you.

“There are a few surprises on this year’s list, most notably Poland and Singapore,” said Travis Katz, CEO and Co-founder, Trip.com. “Although travelers should certainly keep cultural norms and laws in mind when visiting, the appeal of both countries proved strong for our LGBTQ tribe, who reported that the historical sights, great food, and interaction with locals made their trips worthwhile.”

AfterEllen obtained a copy of Trip.com’s Rising Stars destinations.

  1. Puerto Rico – Caribbean’s most gay-friendly island features several hotspots that cater to the LGBTQ community, including San Juan’s Condado and Santurce districts that are home to many gay owned/friendly hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs and beaches.
  2. Mexico City – A thriving LGBTQ community is at the center of the city’s push to expand and protect the rights of its members. Tripsters should check out hip and vibrant neighborhoods like Zona Rosa, Condesa and Roma.
  3. Vienna – Although gay marriage is still not recognized in Vienna, this imperial city is one Europe’s most liberal destinations. Popular neighborhoods include Naschmarkt and Gumpendorferstraße but if you want in on local happenings, stop by Löwenherz, Europe’s largest gay and lesbian bookstore.
  4. Singapore – The destination with the highest number of reviews by Trip.com members is an island of contradictions.  Singapore has virtually no laws in place that protect and empower its LGBTQ community, but with Chinatown’s plethora of gay bars, nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, saunas and spas, this seemingly uptight island is becoming one of Asia’s most popular destinations for gay travelers.
  5. Nashville The city’s friendly attitude and colorful nightlife include everything from honky-tonk and drag venues to cabaret, karaoke and upscale cocktail lounges.
  6. Buenos AiresHost of the Marcha del Orgullo Gay and Queer Tango Festival, this vibrant city combines fiery Latin soul and advanced LGBTQ rights to make this a top destination.
  7. Bali – Adventurous, relaxing, luxurious, romantic, spiritual party, or beach destination – Bali has it all including Spartacvs, an all male clothing optional hotel.
  8. BangkokAs one of Asia’s most liberal and tolerant countries, Bangkok is no way in short supply of bars, restaurants, hotels and clubs that cater to every lifestyle.
  9. Montreal and Southwestern QuebecForget LGBTQ neighborhoods, Montreal has a whole village! It also host the the world’s largest gaybenefit dance festival, Black & Blue, which attracts world renowned DJs.
  10. Poland – This Catholic country is a well-known destination on the backpacking trail, but has been slow in granting basic rights to its LGBTQ population. Still, slow changes in the last few years (including the first marches and openly gay politicians) mark a friendlier climate, and the country saw an increase in LGBTQ interest on Trip.com.

Singapore - Harold Smith-Franzen

In addition to the Rising Stars, Trip.com also comprised a list of  Top Destinations of All Time for LGBQT travelers.  These included Vancouver, Miami Beach, Lake Tahoe, Hawaii, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Berlin, Palm Springs (Go Dinah Shore Weekend!!!) Madrid, and Sao Paulo. The awards list also showcases the top ten LGBTQ-friendly hotels around the world. For the complete guide including top hotels, restaurants, bars/nightlife, visit TRIP.COM.

If you’re wondering how they gather their data and decide their rankings, so were we and we reached out to the company for some insight. We happily received a swift response.

“Trip.com takes a number of different factors into account when selecting its winners including reviewing data across the more than 60,000 destinations in its database. Both lists are based on the number of reviews from distinct travelers visiting the destination, the number of people creating trips on Trip.com for these destinations and real travelers recommending these spots to the LGBTQ Tribe on Trip.com in 2016.”

This year, for the first time, the travel site will include an additional safety and tips feature, similar to the one they’ve used to help guide female solo travelers in the past. This seems like a helpful tool to have on hand, and we’re grateful to Trip.com for helping make LGBTQ travel a bit safer by providing us with the information we need.

Puerto Rico - Carlos P

All photos courtesy of Trip.com

More you may like