Pink travel agencies fear a drop in profits


For a clutch of travel agencies catering exclusively to LGBT tourists, the Supreme Court verdict on Section 377 of IPC has come as a rude shock. Agencies like Pink Vibgyor, Pink Escapes, Indjapink and Out Journeys have been in operation for the past two to three years now, and cater largely to a foreign LGBT clientele. They are now pessimistic about business and the perception of India as a tourist destination abroad.

Abhinav Goel of Out Journeys said that the SC move would have a “distinct impact” on business. “We got a lot of business on the basis of the 2009 high court ruling. International tourists are strong believers in how the politics and governance of a country shape society. They won’t spend their money where they feel unwelcome. Business would have boomed had the Supreme Courtgiven a positive order,” he says.

By Wednesday afternoon, Sanjay Malhotra of Indjapink had begun to receive emails from his clients expressing concern over the development. “Who would want to come to a country like this? My clients are writing to me to ask if they should reconsider their plans. This changes everything,” said Malhotra, who claims to get about 90% of his clientele from overseas. His company handled about 80 bookings last fiscal year, a 50% jump from the year ago.

The tour operator said he was “disappointed and disgusted” by the court’s decision. For him, the issue went beyond business. “More than business it is the lives of millions that is at stake. Do we go back into our closets now? There has to be a solution,” he said.

Read the full report here, Times of India


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here