Showing posts with label Gay Travels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Travels. Show all posts

April 28, 2013

If You or Your Partner are HIV and Want to Travel Abroad You Need to Know Which Country Could Bring You Problems

 If you’re HIV-positive and looking to visit or work in another country anytime soon, you had better know whether your status will be a source of trouble. In some places, stories of travelers who ended up at the emergency room after an unexpected accident and then found themselves immediately deported for being HIV-positive aren’t uncommon. Forty-five countries, territories, and regions have some legal restrictions on foreigners known to have HIV, according to a 2012 study compiled by UNAIDS.
Caribbean Paradises
Turks and Caicos (above) in the Caribbean are a sightseer’s paradise, but the islands bar HIV-positive people from working or residing there for even a short period. But if your hopes are set on escaping to the Caribbean, there are no laws on the books barring HIV-positive tourists from St. Lucia or Trinidad and Tobago, and, let’s face it, they probably have better beaches.
Headed to Zion
Surprisingly, some of the places that have restrictions on HIV-positive travelers are known for social and political acceptance of LGBT people. For example, LGBT-friendly countries including Israel, Australia, and New Zealand have laws requiring HIV testing for foreign workers, and the United States barred HIV-positive visitors until fairly recently.

Israel, the home of World Pride 2012, requires HIV testing for certain foreign workers, and the Ministry of Interior reserves the right to deny work permits to those who are HIV-positive. The law appears designed to largely to prevent people from countries with particularly high HIV rates, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa from entering the country, but it can affect anyone with HIV, including Americans.

The Bustle of Asia
A record 6 million travelers visited Taiwan (above) in 2011, yet the country is anything but friendly to those with HIV. Foreigners planning on staying in the country longer than three months can be forced to take HIV tests or other medical examinations, according to the Tainan City Health Bureau, and are not allowed to stay in the country if they test positive.

Pyramid Hunting
If you’re looking to visit pyramids, you might want to plan your vacation for Mexico or Peru, since Egypt is strict about deporting HIV-positive foreigners. But who knows? A new wave of tolerance could follow the recent democratization of the Egyptian government.

Going Down Under
In Australia restrictions come into play primarily when HIV-positive people wish to stay in the country for longer than 90 days. HIV testing is required for anyone older than 15 applying for a permanent visa. Being HIV-positive does not usually disqualify an applicant, but government officials may take the cost of the applicant’s care or public health risks into consideration.

New Zealand’s law is similar to Australia regarding the treatment of HIV-positive people: Tourists who are staying in the country less than 90 days do not have to declare their status upon arrival. However, people applying for work permits or residency must be tested for HIV and can be turned away if they are positive. Also, a New Zealand policy on accepting refugees from political persecution reserves 20 places for people with HIV.

The Rest of the Best
Most countries, territories, and regions have no HIV-specific restrictions on entry, stay, and residence these days. The United States is now included in that list (as it only recently lifted its ban on HIV-positive foreign visitors), along with such major nations as the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Japan.

For more on places where it’s OK to travel (or not) visit UNAIDS.org.

hivplusmag.com

BY CHARLES HICKS


October 4, 2012

“Gay Friendly” Not Always Friendly, an Example is Expedia


Karen Ocamb from the Bilerico Project recently shared the story of Matt DeLeva and Eric Diaz’s recent trip to a “gay-friendly” resort in Cancun.  What should have been a dream vacation (in which Diaz proposed to DeLeva) turned out to be a nightmare when it became apparent that this resort was anything but gay-friendly.
It begs the question, what qualifies a hotel, or any other business for that matter, as gay-friendly?  In this case, the couple found the Gran Melia Resort on Expedia.com, under the “Gay Hotels & Gay Resorts” section of the website.  Expedia partners with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association for the content of its GLBT oriented mini-site.  There’s no telling how this very homophobic resort slipped through the cracks of the normally very thorough IGLTA.  As of today, Expedia still has the Gran Melia on its list of gay-friendly Cancun resorts.
Recognizing the buying power of gay travelers, Expedia has launched a mini-sitedevoted to GLBT travel.  The site, which was launched in association with the International Gay & Lesbian Tourism Association, allows visitors to search from about 500 GLBT-friendly hotels worldwide as well as events, festivals, and nightclubs.  You can tour the site here.
Orbitz.com has wooed its gay clientele since the company’s inception and has been a corporate model for support of the GLBT community.  Orbitz’ gay website is more user-friendly, and you can click through to it from the Orbitz.com homepage.  On the other hand, Expedia’s gay section is buried within Expedia.com.  Here’s a challenge:  start at the Expedia homepage and try to find the GLBT site.  It took me about 20 minutes to get there.
Despite Expedia’s belatedness, I’m happy to see the company putting forth an effort to accommodate gay travelers.  It’s a smart move, because, as we all know, travel is hugely important to GLBT consumers, and even in difficult economic times, gays will continue to spend on recreational activities.

July 1, 2012

Cairo Cruise with 2100 Goers Cancelled


 | 1 July 2012 | 
Morocco reportedly says no to gay cruise docking in country.
CAIRO: What would have been the first-ever all-gay cruise to arrive in Morocco was abruptly cancelled on Saturday after organizers blamed the Moroccan government for denying the ship access to the country.
Cruise liner Holland America Line and trip organizer RSVP Vacations was forced to tell the 2,100 holiday-goers aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam ship that the July 1 visit to Casablanca had been cancelled.
“Our port agent in Casablanca has advised us that authorities in Morocco have — despite previous confirmations — now denied our scheduled visit,” the two companies said in a letter tweeted to news organizations by passengers of the ship.
“For all of us, this is a very disappointing development,” they added. “It was ultimately the decision by local authorities in Morocco that has necessitated us to adjust our plans.”
Despite the companies’ statements, the Moroccan government denied that they had said no to the ship arriving in the country.
Morocco’s Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad reported that no official decision had been made to prevent the ship from stopping in Morocco.

March 29, 2012

Customs Makes it Easier For Gay Couples to Travel


Harry Hoehn and Rudy Molinet (Photo: Courtesy of Rudy Molinet) 
 "There were people in line that were clearly heterosexual couples, many of whom weren't even American citizens, and they were allowed to go in together," he said. "I, as a citizen, didn't have the same right."

Same-sex couples would be allowed to re-enter the country with a single customs declaration form under a new proposal that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Departments of Homeland Security and Treasury formally unveiled on March 27.
Current policy allows members of a family who are related through blood, marriage, or adoption and live in the same household to file a single customs declaration form. The proposal would expand the definition of "members of a family living in one household" to include domestic partners, same-sex couples, and those in other relationships where "the partners share financial assets and obligations, and are not married to, or a partner of, anyone else."
A customs spokesperson declined to comment on the proposal, but an Obama administration official told the Bay Area Reporter that the White House "welcomes this move."
"Separating families in the customs line was a waste of government resources and a painful symbol of the double standard LGBT families face at the federal level," said Rachel Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality. "This proposal ends that insult. It sends an unmistakable message that the administration and the United States recognize gay families as 'real families,' too."
Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, also welcomed the proposal.
"President Obama and this administration have recognized the need to modernize forms and regulations to reflect the reality of today's American families and we applaud them for that," she said.
Key West, Florida, real estate agents Rudy Molinet and Harry Hoehn filled out a joint customs declaration form to use to re-enter the country last fall after their vacation on the French Riviera. The couple presented the document to a customs agent at George Bush International Airport in Houston, but Molinet said he refused to accept it.
 "The guy was like, really rude, for one, and really aggressive," he said, noting the agent was armed. "He basically ordered me back into line and said, 'You know you're not a couple. We don't recognize you. You have to get back in that line. You have to fill out two forms.'"
The couple faced a similar situation in 2003 when they tried to re-enter the country after their wedding in Canada. Molinet said the agent who refused to accept their joint customs declaration form called a supervisor to calm him down.
"I just refused to go to the back of the line," he said.
While Molinet welcomes the proposal, he still bristles over what he describes his “Lunch Counter Moment”in Houston.
"There were people in line that were clearly heterosexual couples, many of whom weren't even American citizens, and they were allowed to go in together," he said. "I, as a citizen, didn't have the same right.”
http://www.ebar.com

March 5, 2012

If You Are Gay } Fargo Wants you!

File:Fargo North Dakota.jpg

FARGO — Like many gay men who enjoy travel, David Paisley has done the usual circuit: San Francisco, New York, Miami. The senior programs director for Community Marketing Inc., a gay and lesbian market research firm, is seeking something fresh.
Next stop: Fargo?
For local tourism officials, that’s the idea.
Slowly and quietly, the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has been working up a plan to market the region as a gay- and lesbian-friendly destination.
The plan is still in its infancy, but the CVB ultimately hopes to tap into an estimated $70 billion in annual domestic economic impact generated by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender tourists — a cohort that travels heavily and wields outsized disposable spending power.
It’s a big enough market that travel websites like Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity have dedicated gay travel sections.
(American Elm trees in a residential area of Fargo)
“That sector of tourism spending is huge,” said Teri Onsgard, the CVB’s director of sales.
Onsgard has been at the forefront of the organization’s exploration of gay tourism — an area of focus in the CVB’s marketing plan for the past two years. She’s attended conferences on gay marketing, compiled research on what works and what doesn’t and promoted the area’s growing FM Pride Week.
For now, it’s a relatively minor element in the organization’s broader marketing efforts. Since the CVB added gay and lesbian tourism to its marketing plan two years ago, it has spent less than $5,000 on the niche, out of an annual sales and marketing budget of nearly $700,000.
“It’s a small part of our marketing budget, it’s a small part of our marketing plan, but this is something that we’re supporting,” said Cole Carley, CVB president and chief executive.
Paisley, whose San Francisco-based company has done consulting work for the CVB, said efforts to reach out to gay and lesbian travelers aren’t unique to Fargo and Moorhead. A growing number of mid-size cities nationwide are looking to court gay and lesbian visitors, he said.
He said such cities can fill two roles: a cultural hub for regional gay residents and a new option for out-of-state and international visitors who want a break from more established locations.
And if Fargo-Moorhead ever puts together a full-fledged gay marketing campaign, Paisley said, it’ll turn heads.
“We probably haven’t thought much about it, and when we see an active outreach campaign, it’ll surprise us, quite frankly,” he said. “And that’s great.”

Eccher is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co

By: Marino Eccher, The Dickinson Press

February 4, 2012

A Britton Disappear From A Gay Cruise Aboard A Ship


A British tourist is missing after falling more than 100ft overboard from the world’s biggest cruise ship off the coast of Mexico.
The Mexican navy and coastguard are still searching for the unnamed man, who is aged 30, but there is  little hope he will be found alive.
He was among more than 4,500 passengers on board Allure of the Seas as it sailed from Florida to an island south of Cancun on a gay and lesbian-themed seven-day cruise.
'Hedonistic': Allure of the Seas was used to host a massive party with 4,500 passengers on board as the ship sailed from Florida to an island south of Cancun on a gay and lesbian-themed seven-day cruise
'Hedonistic': Allure of the Seas was used to host a massive party with 4,500 passengers on board as the ship sailed from Florida to an island south of Cancun on a gay and lesbian-themed seven-day cruise
CCTV captured him falling from a balcony outside his cabin on Deck 11 at about 7.10am local time on Friday when guests were sleeping after an ‘Eighties’ party.
Most of those on board the ship, chartered by a firm called Atlantis, are gay men said to be enjoying the ‘hedonistic atmosphere’.
  
A picture, above, posted online from a recent Atlantis cruise shows the decks of the 213ft-tall vessel packed with bare-chested revellers.
Sean Patrick Lewis, a passenger on the current cruise, said the tragedy has done little to dampen the mood on board: ‘We have been having parties every night on the ship with lights, lasers and very loud music.’
Royal Caribbean's 'Allure of the Seas' cruise ship. CCTV captured the man falling from a balcony outside his cabin on Deck 11 at about 7.10am local time on Friday
Royal Caribbean's 'Allure of the Seas' cruise ship. CCTV captured the man falling from a balcony outside his cabin on Deck 11 at about 7.10am local time on Friday
The ship’s owner, Royal Caribbean International, insists that the CCTV footage shows the man jumped deliberately.
But the family of 24-year-old cruise ship worker Rebecca Coriam, who disappeared from the Disney Wonder off the coast of Mexico last year, believe it is too early to make this judgment.
They were also told their daughter had jumped, but a year on they say they are no closer to discovering the truth about what happened.
Rebecca’s mother Ann Coriam said: ‘They can’t possibly have carried out the thorough investigation necessary to come to that conclusion.’
Campaigners complain that there is no international police organisation for crimes at sea, leaving investigations to the police force of the country where the ship is registered – often places such as Panama, Bermuda or, in the case of Allure of the Seas, the Bahamas.
A Royal Caribbean executive, who asked not to be named, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The ship is on full charter to Atlantis, meaning they essentially bought the ship’s cabins for the cruise and then sold them. Atlantis likes to throw big parties in the public spaces.’ 

dailymail.co.uk


November 29, 2011

United Airlines Manager } Calls Gay Couple Travelers “Faggots"





A gay couple has claimed they were called ‘faggots’ by a United Airlines manager as they waited for a flight home after Thanksgiving.
The gay slur allegedly took place as Billy Canu and his partner waited for a flight from Denver International Airport on Saturday.
The pair, who were travelling to San Diego, inquired about using a United passenger lounge.
Offensive: Billy Canu, right, and his partner claim they were called 'faggots' and 'idiots' by a United Airlines manager at Denver International Airport on Saturday
Offensive: Billy Canu, right, and his partner claim they were called 'faggots' and 'idiots' by a United Airlines manager at Denver International Airport on Saturday

After the agents at the airline desk gave them ‘a very condescending, sort of rude answer’, the couple began complaining and were approached by a manager they identified as Rodney Hill.
Recounting the incident, Canu claimed that, rather than help, Hill ‘continued to fuel the fire’.
  
‘We challenged him to act better,’ Canu said as he described the incident on a Facebook post. ‘He then followed us, threatening again to remove us, at which point we walked away.
‘Rodney Hill then shouted “idiots” at us. Angered at this, my partner attempted to walk back to challenge him.
bill canu
Rodney Hill
'Shaken': Canu, left, had asked for help at a customer service desk, but the staff were 'rude'. Manager Rodney Hill, right, approached and became abusive, he said
Members only: The altercation at Denver Airport started after Mr Canu and his partner inquired over whether they could use the airline's members lounge
Members only: The altercation at Denver Airport started after Mr Canu and his partner inquired over whether they could use the airline's members lounge

'My partner shouted “what was that?” and Rodney replied “What faggots?” before walking back to the customer service desk.’
 ts to be handled in a derogatory way.'
Reeling from the shocking slur, the couple wanted to return – but feared any further arguments could mean they were kicked out of the airport. 
'We were completely shocked. We were shaking,' Canu told ABC-7. 'We were totally alarmed.'
Instead, he decided to return to the desk to ask for the manager’s full name. When he did, Canu claimed Hill said: ‘Don’t you dare patronise me.’
He returned to the gate and began posting what happened on Twitter and Facebook.
Supporters of the couple began re-posting the complaint and flooded United Airlines’ pages with outraged comments about Hill’s alleged behaviour.
Hill has worked for United Airlines’ management for three years, according to his page on LinkedIn, a professional networking site.
Waiting: The couple say they would like an apology from the airline. A United spokesperson said they would review the complaint and contact the customers
Waiting: The couple say they would like an apology from the airline. A United spokesperson said they would review the complaint and contact the customers

On the site, he claims he was recognized by the company’s CEO Glen Tilton for ‘Excellence in Customer Service 2010’.
And despite how he allegedly handled the customers, he claims he has ‘expertise in staffing and evaluation of personnel to assure adherence to quality service and customer satisfaction’.
'Expertise': Hill boasts of his strong customer care record on his LinkedIn page, posted on Twitter by Canu'Expertise': Hill boasts of his strong customer care record on his LinkedIn page, posted on Twitter by Canu
Canu was also shocked with the 'customer service' from other staff.
He claimed that when he first inquired at the desk - where there was no line - the staff started laughing over who would help.
He said one woman said: 'I can't help as I'm pregnant' and laughed.
Other staff used a condescending tone, he claimed.
United Airlines said it is ‘reviewing’ the complaint.
‘United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind,’ said airline spokeswoman Megan McCarthy.
‘We have received this complaint and are reviewing, and we will reach out to the customer directly.’
Canu and his partner said they just want an apology from the airline.
‘No one wants to be handled in a derogatory way,’ he told ABC7. ‘We understand things can get heated, but I think their customer service could’ve handled it much better.’
  

November 24, 2011

Argentina } With Equal Marriage It’s Become A-OK in our Community


Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires has gained increasing popularity as a gay destination, largely due to recent liberalization laws which have supported gay and lesbian lifestyles, reports Pink Choice.
Bandera Argentina
    Argentina has approved same sex civil unions were approved and later Congress passed a gay marriage law conferring full equal rights to same sex couples.
    “So, with an open minded philosophy, and with some of the feel of a European city, Buenos Aires can now be added to the list of up and coming gay destinations for LGBT travelers looking to vacation further afield from previously tried and tested gay hotspots”, points out Pink Choice.
    The city with its broad-minded attitude doesn’t have a gay neighborhood as such. Instead, gays and lesbians socialize in the many cafes and trendy restaurants that populate the city. The districts of Recoleta, Barrio Norte, Palermo and San Telmo have a particularly gay feel, and are some of the safest areas of any major city in South America.
    The city offers a wide variety of gay and gay-friendly accommodation ranging from apartments, guesthouses as well as the ‘straight-friendly’ Axel Hotel.
    Furthermore this summer a gay cruise is expected to call in Buenos Aires.

    September 18, 2011

    Exchange Students says country 'breaks your gaydar'/adamfoxie* says his was busted too


    Adamfoxie* in France, particularly Paris knows very well how his Gay-dar was broken. It was broken by the young bell hobs, so good looking refined body and language like, outspoken in a nice way.,,,but they just wanted dollars and was there with my partner, who had cheated on me because I was better looking than him..he said..doesnt that sound like a good reason!- lol..excused me...It took him/me wks after landing on the "china Seas": 747 by Pan-nam to get over the gay-dar thing.  I know mine stopped working and about his(companion)..I don't care.



    I packed up my stuff and got on a plane to France to begin my Erasmus year. However, I haven’t been shipped off to any bustling French metropolis, oh no. Instead I find myself in a town called Arras in Nord Pas de Calais. Never heard of it? Neither had I!

    If my life was a Facebook group last week, it would have been called “The awkward moment when you think you can speak a language and then you move to a country and it turns out you don’t actually understand anything”. Où est la bibliothèque?!

    I have been suffering a major case of The-Only-Gay-In-The-Village syndrome for the past couple of weeks. This new column will trace my adventures trying to discover a gay scene in a small French town.

    The problem with France is that it breaks your gaydar. And I pride myself on my gaydar, I have literally never been wrong. The one time I was wrong, she actually came out four years later, so I was retrospectively right. And that’s all that matters. See, none of the usual signifiers apply here, as European women have stolen everything that makes you “obviously” gay in Ireland. On Friday, I saw a girl in baggy jeans, checked shirt, boots, tattoos, piercings and dog-tags. In Ireland, this would have screamed lesbian to me. But she was with her boyfriend. It’s terribly confusing. At home, one can play the game “Spot the gay” to one’s heart’s content. However, when on mainland Europe, you have to factor the game “Gay or European” into your game of “Spot the gay”. And that’s where it gets confusing!!

    I also saw a girl in dungarees the other day. But she’s probably just French. I know I am stereotyping here, but that’s what makes “Spot the gay” fun! None of the other Erasmus students are even a tiny bit gay. Everyone one of the girls have boyfriends. And I haven’t seen any other students that seem to be either. Indeed, I keep getting a lot of stares around the campus, as I dress in quite a “dykey” way I suppose.

    I’m 90% sure I encountered a girl of the Sapphic persuasion in the toilets of the Irish bar the other night (don’t ask) but in the typical lesbian way of things, we ignored each other and avoided eye contact by staring at the ground!

    There is nothing more disconcerting than Google-ing a place name and ‘gay’ and coming up with basically no results. And gaydargirls and pinksofa have similarly turned up nothing. I’m not on the search for someone to date or anything, just on the search to find a “scene”. This town is making me miss Dublin a lot. Plus, there is no nightclub at all, never mind a gay bar. I think I’ll be spending a lot of my weekends in Paris and Lille…but until then, the search for the elusive small town French

    tabula rasa 
    Gaelick...

    adamfoxie*


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