Hong Kong is looking for new ways to lift its fledgling tourism sector. Attracting LGBTI tourists was one idea floated.
But advocates have argued that city’s laws do not provide enough protection for LGBTI people.
Last month the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) put the government on call to introduce laws to protect LGBTI people from discrimination.
Peter Reading, legal counsel at the Equal Opportunities Commission told the South China Morning Post Hong Kong’s laws fell behind global standards.
‘Most jurisdictions in developed countries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have anti-discrimination legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination in relation to the provision of services,’ he said.
Reading said anti-discrimination legislation would protect LGBTI travellers.
Hong Kong’s youth are catching up
Hong Kong’s young people are generally more accepting of LGBTI people. 92% of people aged between 18-24 believing the government should introduce anti-discrimination legislation.
Bob Witeck is the president of Witeck Communications a specialist in the LGBTI consumer market. He said there has been more acceptance of LGBTI people in the past 30 years. One reason for the growing acceptance was that multinational companies want the best talent.
‘Today we witness rapid changes and international business continuing to soar in the region, as more multinational employers hire and promote talented LGBT people,’ he told SCMP.
‘Given the always shrinking globe, and the desire to do business, find pleasure, take vacations and meet other people everywhere, the walls and barriers are quickly evaporating for LGBT people too.
‘Hong Kong would be smart to welcome this tide, consider themselves a gateway for all, and communicate a clear, unfiltered welcome that includes LGBT and same-sex couples to visit.’