UK travel industry unprepared for gay honeymooners

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The United Kingdom’s travel industry is expected to struggle to meet the sudden demand for gay honeymoons when same-sex weddings become legal next month.

Beginning the fifth of December, gay and lesbian couples will be able to formalize their relationships with local authorities under the Civil Partnership Bill. Already, the UK based Out Now Consulting has predicted nearly 275,000 gay couples will take advantage of the new law.

Fiona Jeffery, exhibition director at the World Travel Market show in London, said she believes the travel industry was not prepared for the rise in demand: “Unlike the big banks and the technology companies, the travel industry simply has not planned ahead for the implementation of this bill. There’s no doubt this will trigger a new and completely different demand for tour operators, and the industry has not even got off the starting blocks.”

Gay and lesbian couples have been registering to marry since early summer, but travel agents say the industry has been slow to work toward meeting the new found demands come December.

A report discussing the travel industry’s shortcomings in preparing for the impending explosion of honeymoon travel plans was published online for the media earlier this month. The report suggested travel agents need to buckle down and research popular gay travel destinations, resorts and tour packages.

“Gay honeymoons are going to be booming but the travel industry has to do much more if it is to capitalize on the new developments,” said Ian Johnson, the author of the report.

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