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A shock new survey has found that LGBT+ travellers are being forced back into the closet abroad.
New research from Virgin Holidays and Attitude’s Holiday Survey has revealed the uncomfortable disparity between the experiences of LGBT+ and straight couples on holiday.
While around 84% of straight couples are at ease showing affection to a partner abroad, and the majority are actually more affectionate on holiday than when at home.
LGBT+ travellers report feeling far less at ease, with only just one in twenty (5%) saying they feel comfortable showing open affection with a loved one whilst abroad.
The research, conducted amongst both LGBT+ and straight UK adults, revealed that one in three LGBT+ travellers experienced discrimination, including judgement and ridicule.
The discrimination includes being stared at (58%) or laughed at (35%) and a third (29%) have been verbally abused.
One in ten LGBT+ travellers revealed that they had been threatened with physical violence while on holiday, and two thirds of LGBT+ travellers feel uncomfortable with everyday activities such as applying sunscreen to their partner’s back.
LGBT+ couples said the discrimination was evident in tourists from around the world (40%) with one in four saying they had been discriminated by other British holidaymakers.
However, a third of LGBT+ travelers revealed they feared judgement from hotel staff and more than half have had their relationship status questioned, including being offered single hotel rooms and having their beds separated by housekeeping staff.
This has led to eight out of ten couples refusing to hold hands on holidays, with more than half refusing to hold hands in the safety of their hotel.
Commenting on the findings, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said: “At Virgin Holidays, we believe everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to be whoever they are. That’s why is it shocking that in today’s society some of us can’t even enjoy a simple holiday without fear of discrimination.
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