(EDGE) In an effort to help gay travelers make smarter and safer decisions when planning their holidays, Trip.com has started adding dedicated LGBTQ travel safety info to the landing pages for many of its most popular destinations.
Using extensive information gathered from experienced travelers via an LGBTQ travel safety survey, Trip.com has added LGBTQ safety info boxes to 20 countries during the feature's initial rollout, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Australia, South Africa and Thailand.
The feature echoes another feature recently implemented by Trip.com, offering Solo Female Travel Tips. Both features can be found on countries' individual landing pages, prominently displayed alongside the basic "Why Go" and "When to Go" headings.
For LGBTQ Tips, each country is given an overall rating on a 10-point safety scale, and additional supporting information is provided, making use of actual user comments in a Zagat-type format.
In the UK, for example, this info partially reads: "'Brighton and London are probably the biggest gay communities,' but you should 'Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you.'"
South Africa's info, meanwhile, advises that LGBTQ travelers "felt 'safer in bigger cities,' but 'in smaller towns and villages, especially traditional Zulu areas, keep your sexuality to yourself to avoid trouble.'"
Trip.com unveiled the new LGBTQ travel safety feature at the same time it announced its latest LGBTQ Rising Star Destinations - locales that have seen the largest growth in the last year on the site. Puerto Rico topped the Rising Star list, followed by Mexico City, Singapore and Nashville in the top 5. Rounding out the top 10 were Buenos Aires, Bali, Bangkok, Montreal and Poland.
"There are a few surprises on this year's list, most notably Poland and Singapore," says Trip.com CEO and co-founder Travis Katz. "Although travelers should certainly keep cultural norms and laws in mind when visiting, the appeal of both countries proved strong for our LGBTQ Tribe, who reported that the historical sights, great food, and interaction with locals made their trips worthwhile."
The Rising Star list was compiled based on the number of reviews from distinct travelers visiting each destination, the number of people booking trips on the site for these destinations, and real travelers recommending these spots to Trip.com's LGBTQ Tribe.
The site also revealed the latest version of its Top LGBTQ Destinations of All Time list, which was led by gay favorites Miami Beach, Vancouver, Hawaii, Amsterdam and Lisbon.