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Phuket embraces the pink dollar

PHUKET: In recent months, Thailand - the land of smiles - has become one of the first nations in Asia to shake off the shackles of discrimination and gain government support for promoting gay and lesbian tourism.

By Sponsored

Wednesday 16 October 2013, 09:52AM

The current government-sponsored campaign ‘Go-Thai. Be Free’ ( is the first of its kind aimed at improving awareness of Thailand’s welcoming and accepting nature towards the LGBT community.

Widely regarded as some of the most affluent and friendly tourists, many resorts in Phuket have already been actively encouraging and promoting acceptance for gay travellers, who are seeking relaxation with friends or loved ones away from their less welcoming home countries.

“Be you, with us” from the Marriott resort in Mai Khao is just one of many recent slogans and advertising campaigns embracing LGBT diversity and proving very popular, especially with the younger generation.

Embracing the ‘pink dollar’ may help to improve quality tourism in Phuket with, on average, gay travellers often out-spending their straight counterparts.

For many years Phuket has been the unofficial favourite for gay tourists from all over Asia, the convenient location and perfect weather making it the ideal getaway.

Thailand’s welcoming attitude towards the LGBT community has helped gain popularity for many years now, but the main attractions bringing in gay tourism is centred on events and parties.

Bangkok has begun hosting large Songkran circuit parties attracting thousands each year and Ko Phang Ngan’s full moon parties have also become famous in the gay community.

One of the latest events in Phuket catering towards gay tourism is the upcoming Glow Phuket 2013 event.

Hosted from October 18 to 20, with parties at different locations on the island, Glow is one of the first gay events to receive sponsorship from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

One of the main organisers of Glow, Laurent Ross tells The Phuket News how the idea for the event came about.

“I’ve worked in China for many years. When I came to Phuket five years ago I instantly recognised a need to bring qualty Chinese tourism here.

There are many people [from the gay community] who want to start coming to Phuket and partying and enjoying the freedom that perhaps they don’t have here.”

International sponsors for the party have recently recognised the potential of Phuket for hosting these kinds of events and it is likely there will be bigger events planned for the coming year.

Along with providing a much needed boost to the local gay calendar of events, Glow will also be donating to local charity Barnhem Muang Mai to benefit children in need after the 2004 tsunami.


QSI International School Phuket

FRIDAY - October 18, 2013 20:00



Kalim Beach, Phuket


SATURDAY - October 19, 2013 22:00


X Club, Banglar Road

Patong, Phuket


SUNDAY - October 20, 2013 22:00


Diamond Beach Club

Surin Beach, Phuket




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