In May, the NAACP, one of the nation’s most influential Black social justice organizations, issued a travel advisory for tourists of color thinking about visiting Florida.
Just last week, Canada has announced a similar travel advisory, but for members of the LGBTQ+ community traveling to the United States.
While Canada’s Global Affairs department didn’t mention specific states, it is advising travelers to check local laws before embarking.
At least 14 states have passed over 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills since the beginning of 2023, which is a new record, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“We’re hearing this from Canada. Unfortunately, we’re hearing this from other communities as well,” said John Tanzella, CEO of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association. “It is alarming that our country is taking steps backwards in so many communities. It is happening.”
But, Tanzella warns, the issue is nuanced because there are “tons” of LGBTQ+ businesses that want tourism business.
“In Florida, there are bastions of LGBTQ communities here. When you look at Fort Lauderdale where I am, or Miami, the Keys, Tampa-St. Pete and Orlando, they are very welcoming and very large communities. So we always try to say even though the government or politics may say one thing, that’s not necessarily what’s happening on the ground,” Tanzella explained.
According to the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association, the LGBTQ+ community represents about $100 billion in annual travel expenditures both domestically and internationally.