In order to help LGBTQ+ tourists travel safely, the German portal Spartacus started publishing the Gay Travel Index in 2012. In the 2020 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 third place along with four other countries: Argentina, Uruguay, the Netherlands and the UK, each with a score of 9 out of 12. Only four nations scored higher. Canada, Malta and Sweden obtained the highest possible score, while Austria came in second place with 11 out of 12 points.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Republic of Chechnya in Russia scored poorly at -16 points but was surpassed by Saudi Arabia and Iran (both with -18 points) as well as Somalia (-19 points). The Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia were the regions least safe for LGBTQ+ travelers, while Latin America proved more welcoming than Asia – with the exception of Taiwan. India, Nepal and Thailand were marked as neutral countries on the index.
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.