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P.E.I. Wants LGBTQ Tourists To Feel Welcome

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P.E.I. Gay Tourism Association/Facebook
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Prince Edward Island is one of Canada's most charming tourist destinations, and a new campaign is hoping to promote the island as a safe space for LGBTQ travellers.


In March, the P.E.I. Gay Tourism Association released a series of six videos on Facebook showing same-sex couples and their families exploring the province — from the historic streets of Charlottetown to beaches on the island's north shore. One video shows a happy couple's wedding, with one of the brides posing for a photo wrapped in a rainbow flag.

P.E.I. might not be the first destination LGBTQ travellers think of — it lacks Toronto's buzzing nightlife, or Vancouver's massive Pride celebration. But the chair of the P.E.I. Gay Tourism Association says it makes up for big-city thrill with an open and welcoming community.

"The people featured in the videos are all LGBTQ residents of P.E.I. Some were born here ... others chose to live here which I think speaks to the inclusiveness of the Island," Bill Kendrick told The Huffington Post Canada.

Kendrick says LGBTQ tourists are looking for the same thing as any traveller: "fresh local food, interesting authentic culture and beautiful beaches."

"In addition, LGBTQ travellers want to feel comfortable and welcome."

The P.E.I. Gay Tourism Association not only promotes the island as a destination for LGBTQ travellers, but provides sensitivity training for businesses.

Tourism P.E.I. is also doing its part, with a list of LGBTQ-friendly businesses on its website and photos of LGBTQ couples in its visitors guide.

"One can just be one's self in P.E.I. We don't have gay bars here, but we have a gay premier and open-mindedness that surpasses most places in this world," said Derek, one of the P.E.I. residents featured in the videos.

"Those looking for an exciting nightlife won't find it here, but they will find everything else they want," Kendrick added.

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