Queer-friendly Nepal aims to promote ‘pink economy’, ‘rainbow marriages’ for tourists seen as growing segment


In November, Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey made history by becoming the first queer individuals in Nepal to officially register their marriage. Now, the couple hopes their union, formalised at a government office, will be the spark that leads to a wave of LGBTQ tourism in Nepal. Through their newly founded non-profit group Maya Ko Pahichan – which loosely translates as “recognition of love” – they aspire to attract more LGBTQ travellers as they, and other tourism entrepreneurs and officials in the country, attempt to tap into the multibillion-dollar global market serving this growing customer segment. “If we promote Nepal as a queer-friendly destination, it will benefit both the LGBTQ community and the country,” Gurung said. “Our marriage has sent a positive message for all queer travellers wanting to visit Nepal.”

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