Poll: British tourists are more worried about good beaches than anti-LGBT laws

A poll has found that British tourists care far more about nightlife and beaches when going on country than laws persecuting LGBT people.

A YouGov survey for the AIDS Alliance made the finding, as the charity launched a ‘Paradise or Persecution‘ campaign to raise awareness of the vast number of holiday destinations that criminalise people on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The poll found that 63 percent of Brits believe that same-sex activity was a matter of fundamental human rights, and 44 percent would back a ban on anti-gay world leaders visiting the UK.

But despite people’s strong pro-LGBT stances, tourists are still often willing to head to countries that oppress or jail gay people for a holiday.

Holidaymakers said cost, nightlife, beaches and language barriers were more likely to be deciding factors than whether LGBT people are criminalised.

A number of destinations popular with British tourists, including Tunisia, Barbados, Morocco and the Maldives, continue to have harsh anti-LGBT laws, though many tourists remain unaware.

Karen Johnson, Global Campaign Co-ordinator at the Alliance said: “LGBT people are disproportionately affected by HIV and, in countries where LGBT people are criminalised, they are often driven away from HIV services fearing persecution.

“Eighty per cent of the LGBT people we reached in 2014 were criminalised in their countries.

“It is important that we raise public awareness of the scale of the problem, not only because it is a moral imperative, also because of the impact that criminalisation has on people’s access to HIV services.

“It will be impossible to end AIDS until all people – regardless of their identity or sexuality – can get access to health services and treatment.”

75 countries around the world continue to ban homosexuality – including two-thirds of Commonwealth countries.