Indonesia tourism sector likely to be negatively impacted by anti-LGBT activity

The recent rash of anti-LGBT activity in Indonesia could hurt the country’s important tourism industry, especially in areas like Bali that typically attract large numbers of LGBT travelers.

While recent news about the LGBT community in Indonesia has been dominated by the government’s request that technology companies remove LGBT-themed emojis from social media and instant messaging platforms, certain activities conducted in conjunction with the LGBT tourism industry have also been subject to government scrutiny.

Last September, a sales executive at the Four Seasons on Bali was convicted of “religious blasphemy” after helping organize a wedding ceremony for a same-sex couple.

Tourism contributes approximately $80 million to the Indonesian economy each year, with Bali being the most popular tourist destination in the country.  While it is unclear how much LGBT visitors impact the Indonesian economy, Bali is one of the ten-most visited sites for LGBT travelers in Asia and the Middle East.

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