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Malta named best destination for LGBT+ travellers

It nabbed the top spot for the fourth year in a row

Helen Coffey
Tuesday 21 May 2019 16:14 BST
Malta scored 90 per cent on the Europe Rainbow Index
Malta scored 90 per cent on the Europe Rainbow Index (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Malta has won the title of best destination for LGBT+ holidaymakers for the fourth year in a row.

The island nation topped the Europe Rainbow Index, beating 48 other countries to the number one spot.

The country scored 90 per cent in the index thanks to its LGBT+ friendly laws, policies and lifestyle acceptance.

Malta leads the pack by a sizeable margin, with the number two country, Belgium, scoring 73 per cent.

The annual index, compiled since 2009 by ILGA-Europe, ranks countries based on how their laws and policies impact on the lives of LGBT+ people.

Equality, family issues, hate speech, legal gender recognition, freedom of expression and asylum rights all contribute towards the rankings too.

“The Maltese have a reputation for kindness and excellent hospitality, and this is absolutely reflected in how they welcome all travellers to the island, including the LGBT+ market,” said Peter Vella, director UK and Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority.

“Malta holds a unique combination of traditional and historical culture with a contemporary and welcoming mindset towards LGBT+ travellers and our people continue to set an impressive example for other European countries to follow.”

Same-sex marriage is legal in Malta, and gender-neutral passports were introduced last year.

At the other end of the spectrum, Azerbaijan, which hosts the Europa League final next week, scored the lowest of the 49 countries (3 per cent).

ILGA-Europe says that a score of 0 per cent would indicate “gross violations of human rights” and “discrimination”.

The UK just makes the top 10, scoring 62 per cent per cent to land in ninth place.

Best destinations for LGBT+ travellers

Malta (90 per cent)

Belgium (73 per cent)

Luxembourg (70 per cent)

Finland (69 per cent)

Denmark (68 per cent)

Norway (68 per cent)

Portugal (66 per cent)

France (63 per cent)

UK (62 per cent)

Sweden (62 per cent)

Worst destinations for LGBT+ travellers

Azerbaijan (3 per cent)

Turkey (5 per cent)

Armenia (6 per cent)

Russia (10 per cent)

Monaco (11 per cent)

San Marino (13 per cent)

Belarus (13 per cent)

Lichtenstein (14 per cent)

Moldova (14 per cent)

North Macedonia (16 per cent)

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