For the third year running Malta has again been ranked as the number one travel destination on the European Rainbow Index.
With a rating of 91.04%, Malta has scored the highest ranking on the index measuring countries’ laws and policies affecting the LGBTQ community as well as their general lifestyles.
It is the third year running that Malta has topped the European ranking for the ILGA-Europe organised index. Malta holds first place by quite some distance from Belgium in second place with a 78.76% rating and Norway and the UK third and fourth with 77.74% and 73.48% respectively.
Lowest placed of the 49 countries in the index were Azerbaijan (4.7%), Armenia (7.2%), Turkey (8.6%) and Monaco (9.76%).
First launched in 2009, the European Rainbow Index monitors both the positive and negative impacts on the LGBTQ community and considers a wide range of factors including legal gender recognition, family and marital issues and rights to asylum. Each European country holds a position on the scale; 100% being the most accurate of respect for human rights and full equality in society, and 0% showing gross violation and discrimination.
2017 saw same sex marriage legalised in Malta, as well as the introduction of gender neutral passports this year. The latter followed Parliament’s approval of the Gender Identity Act in 2015 and ensures people are able to have the gender they identify with officially recognised by the State.
LGBTQ travel is a strong focus for the country, and Malta will once again be a sponsor of Brighton Pride 2018. Malta will also become the first European country to host TropOut’s annual summer festival. Taking place in September 2018, TropOut will offer a an unforgettable travel experience for the modern gay traveller in search of a holiday that combines cultural discovery, relaxation and a vibrant party scene with likeminded travellers.
Peter Vella, director UK & Ireland Malta Tourism Authority, said: “We are thrilled that Malta has once again been heralded as the No.1 destination for LGBTQ travellers in Europe. The Maltese have always been proud to welcome the LGBTQ market to their island. Malta holds a unique combination of traditional and historical culture with a contemporary and welcoming mindset towards LGBTQ travellers and we are delighted to be setting an example for other European countries.”