Nepal has a new constitution legalizing same-sex marriage, and Nepal’s businesses are determined to make the most of the situation. An upcoming conference will address the question of how best to boost the country’s economy by tapping into the prospects of gay tourism.
“My eyes filled with tears when I read the Supreme Court decision,” said Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal’s first publicly gay lawmaker and the organizer of the upcoming tourism conference. Pant hopes to use the government’s extension of legal rights to its LGBT citizens to attract visitors to the economically distressed and war-torn region.
"Most Asian countries don’t welcome gay visitors. We can [court gay tourists] and also benefit the Nepal economy, which is fragile after years of war,” Pant told the Daily Telegraph. The result, argued Pant, would be a win-win situation for LGBT people and their allies and for Nepal’s tourism industry as well, which is just beginning to recover from the effects of a long-waged conflict. Savvy travel companies in Nepal have already begun promoting luxury LGBT honeymoon and wedding packages offered on Mount Everest, now dubbed “The Pink Mountain.” Packages will include elephant-backed bridal processions and mountain base camp wedding ceremonies in remote Tibetan enclaves.