Iceland has been ranked the safest country in the world for queer travellers in an index that takes into consideration the legalities of same-sex marriage and adoption. Olivia Palamountain reports

LGBTQ+ travel safety varies a great deal around the world, from relative comfort to the real possibility of danger. But with more of the queer community now exploring than ever before, there has never been a better time to assess destination safety.

As Globetrender founder and CEO, Jenny Southan notes in Globetrender’s The Future of Queer Travel trend report (available to download for free, here): “Over the past ten years, the LGBTQ+ travel market has grown enormously – when travel was at its peak before the pandemic, travel spending from queer people reached US$218 billion worldwide. By 2030, experts predict that travel spending by queer travellers could reach US$568.5 billion.

“For the travel industry, this is a clear indication of distinct market opportunities. It is also an urgent call for better understanding and appreciation of this growing and richly varied consumer group.”

In a timely move, London-based SEO agency Reboot has revealed the top ten safest nations to live in and travel to if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

From Iceland in first place, to Belgium in at number ten, all of the countries that made the top ten have legalised LGBTQ+ marriage, and gender reassignment, along with promoting LGBTQ+ opportunities.
As a result, the employment and housing possibilities are nearly similar to those of a cisgender straight person, and there are lower hate crime reports in these areas.
Each country was analysed against ten categories and given an overall score out of ten. The categories were: societal acceptance, homosexual activity, same-sex marriage, censorship, gender reassignment, discrimination, employability, housing and ability to adopt a child.

The ten safest destinations for queer travellers

1. Iceland

2. The Netherlands

3. Norway

4. Sweden

5. Canada

6. Spain

7. Denmark

8. UK

9. Malta

10. Belgium

Travel and family journalist Asher Fergusson has also compiled an LGBTQ+ Danger Index to help inform the safest and least safe countries to travel for the queer community.

“Instead of relying on hearsay and anecdotes from other travelers,” writes Fergusson, “we took a deep look at LGBTQ+ rights, country by country. After 400+ hours of research, we’ve reviewed all countries’ individual laws and gathered data from a variety of trusted international sources to create the definitive ‘LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Index’ that will help you find the safest (and least safe) countries for your next trip abroad.”

After gathering data from 170 countries, in last place is Brunei, where being gay is still punishable with death by stoning; while flying the flag for gay safety is Canada. All of the other top ten safest destinations for the queer community are in Europe – Scandinavia in particular.