Virgin Holidays has found out that a mere one in twenty LGBT+ couples are at ease showing affection while on holiday.
The new research has been conducted to highlight the disparity between the experiences of LGBT+ people and straight people while getting away, with many gay people opting to ‘go back into the closet’ for fear of discrimination.
One in three LGBT+ travellers have experienced discrimination while on holiday, which includes judgement and ridicule.
From those asked, 58% said they had been stared at while with their partner abroad, while 29% revealed that they had actually been verbally abused.
Two thirds of the travellers surveyed admitted that they had felt uncomfortable putting sun lotion on their partner’s back, among other everyday activities and gestures of affection.
More worryingly, one in ten have been threatened with physical violence.
To highlight the issue, Virgin Holiday has teamed up with ATTN: to produce a video that brilliantly shows what would happen if straight couples were treated like LGBT couples on holiday.
“At Virgin Holidays, we believe everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to be whoever they are, wherever they are,” said Sir Richard Branson.
“That’s why it is shocking that in today’s society some of us can’t even enjoy a simple holiday without fear of discrimination. It’s fantastic that Virgin Holidays are raising awareness around this important issue.”
These figures are in comparison with 84% of straight couples saying that they feel totally at ease showing affection towards one another while holidaying.
“Holidays should be relaxing, fun and full of adventure. Unfortunately for LGBT+ people this still isn’t always the case,” said Joe Thompson, Managing Director at Virgin Holidays.
“We want everyone to take on the world and that’s why we’re working with one of the biggest issues driven publishers to continue to raise awareness of the issues faced by LGBT+ travellers on holiday, and to work with our partners abroad, to give customers the best experience possible.”
Last year, Virgin Holidays launched a three-year plan to become one of the friendliest LGBT companies in travel.
Their plan includes empowering staff, influencing suppliers, and educating staff on LGBT+ issues.
What’s more, in 2017 they have focussed on helping to advance LGBT+ equality in conservative regions such as the Caribbean.