This July, Goa will be a gay haven

Panaji, May 2 (IANS) Come July, Goa could just be the toast of the season for gay Indians.

IndjapInk, which claims to be the country’s first and only gay boutique travel agency, has organised a “Life is a Beach” package that not only promises a “sexy group tour” to Goa but also “compatible roommates” if you’ve bought a single ticket.

The three-night-four-day package is being billed by IndjapInk as the “most sensational, super sexy Gay group tour of the year to Goa”.

The tour apart, the other hook offered by package is a chance to just bump into the hunk of your dreams.

“Get to know, interact and make friends. Strengthen your bond with that special one on the beach sands of Goa Or u never know…, u just might find the man of ur dreams,” says IndjapInk’s Facebook page, specially dedicated to the travel package.

“Surf the waves, Roll in the sands & make sure you hold on to your man’s hands :-),” it further says, upping the quotient.

The tourism and trade industry sees Goa as one of the most popular and gay friendly tourism destinations in the country.

Such is the potential of gay tourism to Goa that a couple of years ago, the tourism department tried to conduct a special session dedicated to (LGBT (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Trisexual) groups at a tourism mart here.

But protests by the Goa Church and other religious groups forced the state government to back off.

Gaurish Dhond, former president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), wholeheartedly endorsing the overtures to the LGBT segment, said: “It is a trend which is gaining currency worldwide. You will have to accept global trends. The society here will accept it. Tourism here will have to grow.”

And gay tours like “Life is a Beach” only underline the importance of LGBT holiday packages to the tourism industry.

The package involves airport-to-hotel transfers, unlimited alcohol, poolside parties and boat cruises, apart from lodgings at a luxury gay-friendly facility.

Delhi-based IndjapInk claims on its website that it offers the opportunity for gays to “enjoy a relaxed vacation in India without fear of discrimination”.

“We are only recommending properties we handpick and think you’ll love,” say the promoters of the travel agency, one of whom is Sanjay Malhotra, a fashion designer based in the capital.

(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at [email protected])

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