News / Vancouver

Could gay marriage in Washington spur B.C. 'two-nation vacation'?

Nobody knows exactly how much B.C.'s gay-wedding friendly tourism industry stands to lose now that Washington has legalized same-sex marriage, but provincial statistics provide some hints.

B.C. stats show that in 2010, 334 same-sex American couples married in B.C., 71 of whom were from Washington State.

While destination weddings pump thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars each into the local economy, Angus Praught, owner of Travel Marketing, said there could actually be an upside to this corner of the world going gay-friendly.

"It may change the decision of some people coming here, but it may open up a bigger market overall with people coming to the region, and getting married in one city and honeymooning in the other, doing the two-nation vacation thing," Praught said.

"It may end up being a positive. People may say 'let's go to that region, we can get married in either place and see both at the same time.'"

He may be on to something. In 2010 another 120 same-sex couples from the rest the world also tied the knot in B.C., owing at least in part to its reputation as a beacon of queer culture and civil rights.

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