ILGA-Europe has announced that Malta has been ranked the number one travel destination on the Europe Rainbow Index 2019 for the fourth year running.
Out of a total of 49 European countries, Malta has been awarded an outstanding 90% in recognition of the laws, policies and lifestyles of the LGBTQ community on the Mediterranean island.
First launched in 2009, the European Rainbow Index monitors both the positive and negative impacts on the LGBTQ community and considers a wide range of factors including legal gender recognition, family and marital issues and rights to asylum. Each European country holds a position on the scale; 100% being the most accurate of respect for human rights and full equality in society, and 0% showing gross violation and discrimination.
2017 saw same sex marriage legalised in Malta, as well as the introduction of gender-neutral passports in 2018. The latter followed Parliament’s approval of the Gender Identity Act in 2015 and ensures people are able to have the gender they identify with officially recognised by the State.
Malta is proud of this recognition and has firmly positioned itself as a vibrant and welcoming destination for all. LGBTQ travel is always a strong focus for the country, and Malta has hosted LGBTQ festivals as well as sponsored and supported Pride both on the island and overseas.
Peter Vella, director UK & Ireland Malta Tourism Authority, said: “Malta has once again been showcased as the number one destination for LGBTQ travellers in Europe. The Maltese have a reputation for kindness and excellent hospitality, and this is absolutely reflected in how they welcome all travellers to the island, including the LGBTQ market. Malta holds a unique combination of traditional and historical culture with a contemporary and welcoming mindset towards LGBTQ travellers and our people continue to set an impressive example for other European countries to follow.”