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Oct 20, 2011 03:39 PM IST | Source: PTI

Goa govt opens window to LGBT tourism ahead of GITM conference

Goa govt opens window to LGBT tourism ahead of GITM conference

Panaji, Oct 19 (PTI) Apart from promoting conventional tourism in the picturesque coastal state, Goa Government today observed it is now focussing on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) tourism segment though it will not promote the same.

The tourism industry players, ahead of the Goa International Travel Mart (GITM) conference opening up from Friday, said the LGBT segment would also be paid "attention" to.

The state government officials, however, clarified that "they are not promoting this tourism but can''t ignore this vital market".

Goa Tourism Director Swapnil Naik said GITM in one of the sessions will discuss LGBT segment threadbare adding that LGBT kind of tourism is a fast emerging trend in Europe and has a potential to contribute for Goan tourism industry too.

"But it would be wrong to say that we will be promoting it," Naik added.

LGBT tourism is a form of niche tourism catering to gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgender people.

Naik said during the GITM, the industry players would be sensitised about this tourism which is becoming a vogue globally.

Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), a nodal body of tour and travel operators in the state, said "since the trend is worldwide, it is nothing wrong to accept it in Goa".

TTAG president Gaurish Dhond said "you have to accept the trend".

GITM will have 400 buyers and sellers from 28 countries, including Singapore, South Africa, UK, Italy, Poland, Russia, Thailand, the US, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Latvia, France and the Middle East.

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