Big increase in LGBTQIA+ concerns for safety while travelling in 2023 - study

Stock photo of a lesbian couple kissing while taking a selfie on holiday.
Photo credit: Getty Images (file)

This year has seen a large increase in concern amongst LGBTQIA+ Kiwis about the dangers they face while travelling, according to new research.

Of the Aotearoa-based respondents in a study into LGBTQIA+ travellers in 2023, 85 percent said they feel they must consider their personal safety and wellbeing when travelling, up from 58 percent in 2022.

That percentage is also higher than the global average of 80 percent, which was up from 64 percent in 2022.

The research was commissioned by and conducted among a sample of 11,555 travellers who identify as LGBTQIA+ from 27 countries, with 209 based in Aotearoa. The survey was taken online in March and April.

It also found 76 percent of the New Zealand participants said controversy in the media around attitudes, discrimination and violence towards people who identify as LGBTQIA+ has had a big impact on their choice of destination.

News coverage of discriminatory legislation over the past year has been said to have impacted the perception of safety for many LGBTQIA+ travellers, particularly those who are transgender. 

There are still 64 countries that criminalise same-sex relationships and in 11 of them the death penalty can be imposed. Such laws were the subject of discussion in regards to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, due to the country's homophobic laws. released the study's New Zealand findings in the lead-up to 2023 Winter Pride in Queenstown, of which the reservation website and app is a platinum partner.

This year, is putting on a 'Ride with Pride' SUV transfer service, with proceeds donated to OutLine Aotearoa.