Press release

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples urged to research honeymoon destinations

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New research suggests fewer than half of LGB&T couples research whether a destination is LGB&T-friendly before travelling overseas

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is encouraging LGB&T couples going on honeymoons overseas to choose their destination with care after new research suggested that less than half (46%) of LGB&T people investigate whether an area is LGB&T-friendly when planning a honeymoon abroad.

The survey, which comes just six months after the introduction of marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales, also found that one in five LGB&T people planning their honeymoon did not research their destination at all before booking.

Laws and attitudes relating to LGB&T people vary significantly around the world and can be very different to those in the UK. In some countries same sex relationships may be punishable by a long imprisonment or the death penalty.

Although most same-sex newlyweds have positive and happy memories of their honeymoon, nearly a third of respondents to the survey (30%) said their experience had been affected by negative local attitudes towards gay people. Taking the time to research thoroughly can help couples to ensure their honeymoon is the trip of a lifetime they hoped for.

The survey findings also revealed that:

  • more than half (52%) didn’t feel confident in selecting a destination overseas that is LGB&T-friendly
  • sources of information used for researching destinations included LGB&T media and organisations (46%) and family and friends (30%)
  • the youngest group surveyed (18-24 years old) were most likely to research attitudes towards LGB&T people abroad, while those aged 55 years and older were least likely

John Heppenstall, Head of Consular Campaigns at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, said:

All couples looking to book and travel abroad for their honeymoon have an abundance of great destinations to choose from. But it’s important for same-sex couples to be aware that attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travellers vary considerably around the world and can be very different from those in the UK. Our most important piece of advice is to always fully research your destination before booking. It could be the difference between the trip of a lifetime and one you’d both much rather forget. Visit our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender foreign travel advice page for more information.

Martin Iversen Christensen, European Member of the Board of ILGA (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), said:

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking a holiday abroad, especially for a special occasion like a honeymoon. But finding out how suitable a destination is should be a priority, so we welcome the initiative by the FCO to publish travel advice for LGBTI-people. The ILGA monitors the legislation concerning LGBTI-people closely and our website can give an indication if, for instance, same sex marriage is recognised, or if, on the contrary, being gay or lesbian is considered a crime.

Earlier this year, TheGayWeddingGuide.co.uk created an infographic highlighting their recommendations for LGB&T-friendly honeymoon destinations overseas. Same sex couples travelling abroad can also visit our LGB&T foreign travel advice page for more information and advice on travelling abroad.

If you would like further information please contact 0207 781 2342 or fcoteam@consolidatedpr.com

Further information

The ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign targets a number of audiences, from gap year students to package holidaymakers; sports fans to older travellers and people visiting friends and family abroad. The campaign works with more than 300 travel industry partners to communicate its messages. For more information visit our Know Before You Go page.

If you have any enquiries for FCO consular staff before you go or while abroad you can use the FCO’s Twitter service @FCOtravel. Questions are answered 9am-6pm BST, Monday to Friday and FCO staff aim to respond within 30 minutes. This service adds to the ways that British people travelling or living overseas can already get in touch with the FCO: by emailing our travel advice team or contacting local consular staff.

You can also keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice by signing up to the FCO’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Information about how the FCO can help British nationals abroad:

The FCO can: The FCO cannot:
Issue you with an emergency travel document Help you enter a country if you do not have a valid passport or necessary visas
Provide information about transferring money Give you legal advice or translate documents
Provide help if you have suffered rape or serious sexual or physical assault, are a victim of crime, are ill or in hospital Investigate crimes or get you out of prison
Give you a list of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors or funeral directors Get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people, but we will raise concerns if treatment falls below internationally recognised standards
Contact you if you are detained abroad Pay any bills or give you money
Contact friends and family back home for you if you wish Make travel arrangements for you
Provide help in cases of forced marriage  
Assist people affected by parental child abduction