Tasmania has claimed second spot in a list of the world’s top ten emerging gay travel destinations.

The list, compiled by Hotel Travel Club, showcases those cities and regions which have not traditionally been associated with gay travel.

Other destinations include Nova Scotia, Lisbon, Nashville and Mexico City. No other Australian destination makes the list.

The site says of Tasmania,

“Over the past few years, locals have put aside their conservative views and have welcomed lesbian and gay residents and travelers alike. The island offers a GLBT tourist guide and a number of incredible tourist sites.”

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, welcomed the listing saying it will encourage national and international tourism to Tasmania and will benefit the local tourism industry.

“Tasmania’s greater acceptance of diversity is important in itself, but it also pays a dividend to the state’s economy through this kind of global exposure”, Mr Croome said.

“We urge the State Government to maximise this opportunity by increasing the funding that is available to Tourism Tasmania to promote Tasmania as a gay-friendly travel destination and provide tailored information to international gay and lesbian visitors once they arrive.”

Earlier this week Tasmania confirmed its status as a gay-friendly travel destination, with a new law recognising same-sex parents and new regulations allowing same-sex couples to have relationship ceremonies.

This is in stark contrast to the fact Tasmania was the last Australian state to decriminalise same-sex relationships in 1997, earning it a global reputation for homophobia which deterred gay travellers.

Hotel Travel Club’s list of the top ten emerging gay travel destinations can be found at http://blog.hotelclub.com/gay-friendly-cities/

For more on gay and lesbian travel in Tasmania visit www.galtat.com