Thailand promotes LGBTQ tourism in New York rally

Thailand promotes LGBTQ tourism in New York rally

Participants carry a 100-foot-long rainbow flag on Sunday during the LGBTQ Pride march in New York. (Florida Keys News Bureau via AP photo)
Participants carry a 100-foot-long rainbow flag on Sunday during the LGBTQ Pride march in New York. (Florida Keys News Bureau via AP photo)

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has used a New York rally to raise awareness on equality of sexual orientation to lure tourists to the kingdom.

Thailand sent a contingent to join the parade at the World Pride event in the US city on Sunday for the first time as part of the "Go Thai Be Free" campaign.

Charinya Kiatlapnachai, director of the TAT office in New York, said the Thai tourism agency used the event to send a message to LGBTQ travellers that they are welcome in Thailand, VOA Thai reported on Wednesday.

LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

TAT estimates there are at least 5 million people who identify as LGBT in the US. "We think they are our target and this market segment has potential to grow," VOA Thai quoted her as saying.

The agency also targeted the same group in Latin America, which has about 20 million LGBT people. It organised a meeting with 40 tourism operators from Central and South America in May.

Millions lined the streets of New York on Sunday to wave rainbow flags, celebrate the movement toward LGBTQ equality and renew calls for action in what organisers billed as the largest gay pride celebration in history.

Event organisers and city officials said 150,000 parade marchers and up to 4 million visitors commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that triggered the modern LGBTQ movement, with corporate sponsorship and police protection that would have been unthinkable half a century ago.


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