New Training Program Helps Travel Agents Plan Trips For LGBTQ Travelers
By Sharelle Burt
Malta has been named the most LGBTQ-friendly destination several times in a row. They welcome LGBTQ travelers, allow same-sex marriage and have a Pride week in Valletta. Since the country is popular to their community, Malta is working with travel agents, training them to plan LGBTQ-friendly vacations.
On LearnLGBTMalta.org, travel agents learn about LGBT-friendly hotels, activities, and places to visit. Agents that complete the training will get a certificate and an iTunes voucher. “It’s important for the trade to be equipped with the right facts about LGBTQ+ travel to help travelers make an informed decision,” director of Malta Tourism Authority Peter Vella said. “We are excited to launch the new training program to engage agents in a target market that is close to our hearts.”
Malta is one of the few countries in the world that made LGBT rights equal at a constitutional level, going back centuries. During the rule of the Order of St. John, it was common for males to be attracted to other males. Knights would look for sexual favors from young men. Back in 2016, Malta became the first country to ban conversion therapy. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity have been banned nationwide since 2004 and members of the community are openly allowed to serve in the military since 2002.
For the third year, ILGA Europe ranked Malta number on the European Rainbow Index 2018. The European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association rates the positive and negative impacts of European countries on the community. Malta received 94 percent on the scale, 15 percent higher than the second-ranked country. When it comes to healthcare, however, Malta is still a little behind. Gay and bisexual men are not allowed to donate blood, however, the ban is set to be lifted in early 2019 for couples in stable, monogamous relationships.