News / Ottawa

Government looking to boost LGBT tourism to Canada

Canada in top five destinations for LGBT tourists.

Randy Boissonnault, the prime minister's special advisor on LGBTQ issues stands with Minister of Tourism Bardish Chagger and a worker from OWL rafting in the House of Commons Foyer

Ryan Tumilty / Metro

Randy Boissonnault, the prime minister's special advisor on LGBTQ issues stands with Minister of Tourism Bardish Chagger and a worker from OWL rafting in the House of Commons Foyer

The government committed $100,000 Monday to help promote Canada as a destination for LGBT tourists.

On Monday, Minister of Tourism Bardish Chagger announced the funding, which will go to Travel Gay Canada, an industry group that works with tour operators to make sure their operations are inclusive and welcoming.

Chagger said Canada’s approach to LGBT rights is central to the country’s value, but also opens doors for the tourism market.

“As the world becomes more connected by travel and technology, more and more people around the world are able to learn about Canada,” she said. “The LGBTQ2 segment of the travel market is growing, and Canada is well positioned to welcome more LGBTQ2 travellers.”

Colin Simes, executive director of Travel Gay Canada, said they hope to attend more tourism trade shows around the world with the new funding — including a large event in London — and also continuing working with new tourism operators.

He said Canada is fifth in the world today as an LGBT tourism destination, but could be first.

“We have some good product here and that’s what is bringing them here.”

He said right now the organization helps operators identify and address areas where they’re failing to be inclusive.

Randy Boissonnault, the government’s special advisor on LGBT issues, said he believes the $100,000 spread over two years will help LGBT tourism grow.

“It certainly is enough to get started in terms of reaching out and connecting with the international tour operators and bringing groups here to Canada,” he said. “What we will do is look at the effectiveness of the program, and then work with Travel Gay Canada after the two-year period.”

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