In order to help LGBTQ+ tourists travel safely, the German portal Spartacus started publishing the Gay Travel Index in 2012. In the 2021 edition, the ranking compared 202 countries and territories based on the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people in these locations.
Tourism heavyweight Spain usually appears among the safest and most welcoming destinations for the LGBTQ+ community. In the Spartacus ranking, the country occupies second place along with two other countries: Malta and Portugal, each with a score of 11 out of 13. Only one nation, Canada, scores higher.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Republic of Chechnya in Russia scores poorly at -19 points and is preceded at the bottom of the ranking by Saudi Arabia and Somalia (both with -18 points) as well as Iran (-17 points). The Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia are the regions least safe for LGBTQ+ travelers, while Latin America proves more welcoming than Asia – with the exception of Taiwan. India and Thailand at least score 1 point on the index, while Nepal ranks at a neutral 0 and Japan scores -2.
To develop the index, the creators focused on political decision-making, legal frameworks and whether episodes of violence against the LGBTQ+ community were recorded in the countries recently.