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St. Lucia NGO says Caribbean could cash in on same-sex tourism

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Tuesday June 30, 2015 – A senior official of a St. Lucia human rights non-governmental organization says the United States’ Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriages across the country could very well open up a new tourism market for the Caribbean if the region takes advantage of the opportunity.

Secretary of United and Strong Inc Jessica St. Rose told local media that the move could create opportunities for tourism-driven countries to explore same-sex tourism.

She told St. Lucia News Online that the Caribbean should move to make gay marriage legal, making it more appealing for same-sex couples.

The secretary of the NGO which represents marginalized groups in the island, with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, argued that the region could cash in by encouraging same-sex couples to visit the Caribbean for their honeymoons and family vacations.

“I don’t know when the Caribbean will move to that decision to make same sex marriage legal but with the United States doing it a lot can happen,” she told the St. Lucia Times, adding that St. Lucia, in particular, does not have many industries to fall back on.

“Bananas are going downhill and tourism is what is holding us up, so if it happens I think tourism officials should grab at the opportunity to welcome those couples and not just be a heterosexual destination, but welcome same-sex couples in the region.”

St. Rose also pointed out it made sense to take advantage of the opportunities since “we cannot prevent same sex persons who are married from coming to the Caribbean” and some hotels on the island were already welcoming same-sex couples.

Courtesy: Caribbean 360

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