Due to the continuing legal improvements for trans and intersex persons as well as anti-hate crime initiatives, Portugal has jumped from being ranked 27th in the world as an LGBT Travel Friendly travel destination to the top spot of the SPARTACUS GAY TRAVEL Index. Portugal is now ranked number 1 along with Sweden and Canada as the world's most LGBT travel friendly destinations.
The SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index is updated annually to inform LGBT travelers about the current situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in 197 countries and regions. It's only this year that SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index has taken into account the legal situation of the transgender community. Because Canada, Sweden and now Portugal fulfills this criterion with a full score they can now all 3 secure the top spot!
One country that has seen a real upturn in their ranking is India. This is due to the decriminalization of homosexuality and an improved social climate. This has taken India from 104 to 57 on the Travel Index. Unfortunately, for LGBT travellers in Brazil, Germany and the USA the situation has worsened. This is because right-wing conservative governments have introduced various initiatives to repeal LGBT rights that in the past had been in place. This is an extremely worrying trend. It's hard to believe that Germany has dropped from 3rd to 23rd place on the Travel Index due to the lack of protection for transgender and intersex persons.
On a more positive note Thailand has moved up 20 places and now stands at 47. This is down to strong campaigning against homophobia and the introduction of laws, recognising same-sex civil partnerships. This could make Thailand the most LGBT friendly travel destination in Asia.
We continue to see the pendulum swinging between progression and regression. Not only in the less fortunate countries but also the Western world which surely should be leading the way at all times and all the time!
To find out more about how Our Charity Partner, GiveOut is raising funds for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) causes worldwide. Around the world activists are doing vital work promoting and protecting the rights of our community. But as always help and resources are underfunded so if you feel you can help in any way please support GiveOut through Diva Destinations Giving Page.
I don’t mean gay or lesbian friendly we mean the real McCoy, the real thing; the genuine article. Lesbian run & owned B&B and hotels!
Help us find them as we are struggling. If you Google Lesbian hotels without even putting “in the UK” nothing comes up. When you go to the Visit London’s website https://www.visitlondon.com/where-to-stay/hotel/gay-hotels all it says is “All LGBT couples, groups and individuals are welcome at any accommodation provider”. Not very helpful. So, we have a few questions about this and would love to get your views, so please comment on our Blog Page.
Should a lesbian run hotel actually market itself as such? The problem here is, they could be turning guests away who think they can only stay there if they are indeed a lesbian. Or, should a lesbian owned establishment bite the bullet and state what it is on the tin but also say “everyone welcome”. Again they still run the risk of losing business or are they discriminating against straight couples? Or, do they just market themselves as a B&B or hotel and state that it’s run by Margaret & Shirley (as an example)? This way there is a good chance that lesbians will know it’s run by lesbians... then again Margaret & Shirley could just be friends…. And I mean “just friends”. Remember the case in 2010 when a straight couple refused to allow a gay couple to stay at their B&B. In the end the B&B had to pay damages. We don't want to be like this couple and not allow straight couples to stay.... or do we? It all makes for an interesting debate
Then we have Channel 4’s, Four in a Bed? https://www.channel4.com/programmes/four-in-a-bed If you’ve never watched it, then it’s a great daytime or late afternoon guilty pleasure. It sets out with four sets of B&B owners who then take turns as hosts to decide who offers best value for money. It has featured gay couples but as far as I’m aware no lesbian couples or lesbian owners. If you have seen otherwise leave us a comment as we’d love to know. Then we can feature them on our Blog page. It would be interesting to know from those gay couples featured how/if it affected or increased business.
Do you know a lesbian run/owned hotel in the UK? Have you ever stayed in one? Let us know your thoughts, stories and comments here.
Mix a little fun with designer shirts and what do you get? A great little fashion show on Diva Destinations hosted lesbian group holiday to the Lesvos Women’s Festival. When Lisa Honan, founder of GFW Clothing went to the International Eressos Women’s Festival with Diva Destinations they decided to ask some of the Divas if they fancied being models for a fun fashion show to showcase GFW’s range of unique shirts. What we didn’t expect was the large number of women who were happy to do it … in fact they WANTED to do it…..
Our models were all shapes and sizes, which reflects just what GFW Clothing is all about … “That people's bodies are all different, in addition to height and size there are variations in hips, bottoms, shoulders and chest sizes. One size does not fit all".
So we mixed a few 1970’s tunes, fixed the date and hey presto we had a show to put on! And boy did we rock! Just take a look at our fashion show and here too!
Diva Destinations also managed to model their very fashionable Diva T-Shirts too!
There you have it…. On a magical balmy evening with the sun setting across the beautiful blue Aegean Sea and with an audience of over 70 lesbians ready and waiting; we hit the play button, and released our models onto the catwalk. And boy did they love strutting their stuff…
I told you Lesbians love their shirts!! Read more about GFW Clothing AND get 10% off your next purchase by using code divadest19
The Question on everyone’s lips is, can Team Europe win back the Cup? Unless you’re American of course, whereby you’ll be thinking, can Team USA retain it?
I’m already imagining who will be representing Team Europe. Who will qualify, the last minute ’Captain’s picks’ and the different pairings. I am sure England’s Georgia Hall, winner of the 2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open will play a vital role, along with Charley Hull. Hall ‘n Hull definitely has a ring to it. Plus, it’s a given that newly publicly, out and proud, Mel Reid will be fighting hard to secure her place on Team Europe. Reid, six-time Ladies European Tour winner and three-time Solheim Cup player, is one of those professional golfers who simply thrives on the camaraderie and passion that match play enables. The fact that she’s now openly batting for ‘our’ team is a fabulous bonus for our community. I was delighted to see her win her 2019 LPGA card and look forward to watching her progress throughout the season. A Solheim Cup without Mel Reid? Unthinkable.
If you’ve never been to a golf tournament before, unlike other sporting events, golf allows you to see the players up close and personal. You can watch them on the practise ground and putting green before they tee off and along the fairways during their rounds. This close-proximity to the players, really makes you feel a part of the action. My buddy Sam and I were up at Royal Lytham over those momentous few days last summer when Georgia Hall won her first Major. On the last few holes, Sam was so nervous at the prospect of Georgia winning, she could hardly watch. I reassured Sam ‘she’s got this.’ We felt very lucky to be in the crowd and share that moment together as we witnessed Georgia making golfing history.
Having said that, I must admit, although I have supported many professional tournaments over the years, I have never actually attended the Solheim Cup! Ridiculous, I know! Watched on TV of course, but never stood in the crowd and felt the tension that match play golf produces in shed loads. The Ryder Cup last year in France was an absolute triumph. The Solheim Cup showdown at Gleneagles in Scotland this year is expected to attract record crowds, many of them likely to be women who, like me, have never been before. I am confident the Solheim Cup will produce an equally exciting atmosphere and result and am absolutely thrilled to be hosting a trip up to Scotland to watch the drama unfold.
Working with LGBT Holiday specialist Diva Destinations, and Golf Holiday Specialist, Golf Escapes with their newly launched website The Ladies Collection, will ensure a perfect experience. Great company, stunning views and some of the best female golfers in the world. Come and make memories with me at this momentous event. I literally cannot wait.
Join me, Caron Morton – email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information about our Solheim Cup trip.
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Our hosted lesbian group holiday goes down under in 2020!!
2020 is a big year for us. Not only is it the start of a new decade but Diva Destinations is going Down Under. Yes we are hosting a lesbian group tour to the stunning East Coast of Australia taking in everything we possibly can so our women get the best from their 3 weeks in the land of Oz! One of the big attractions of the tour happens the moment we land as we coincide our arrival in the midst of the 42nd Sydney Mardi Gras and just in time for the famous Parade on Saturday 7th March. Excitement is already mounting.
So what will you find on our travels? Well it’s the only country occupying a whole continent - extending north and south from the Tropic of Capricorn with visitors often amazed at the range of experiences available and how easy it is to try something new. We have put together a wonderful trip exploring the key destinations and attractions on Australia’s east coast between cosmopolitan Sydney and the resort of Port Douglas in the Tropical North. We will experience the stunning scenery of the Blue Mountains, the frothy waves of Byron Bay and the charming township of Port Douglas. And of course, Australia is famous for its sunshine and beautiful sandy beaches so we have built in a relaxing, chilled week in Byron Bay along the way!
Here are just some of the main highlights of our tour:
• Day trip on Sydney harbour to The Gap, Rose Bay & Watson's Bay
• Soaking up the sun on Sydney’s Bondi Beach
• Walking in the stunning Blue Mountains
• Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge
• Partying at Mardi Gras Parade night
• Surfing on Byron Bay
• Lighthouse walk at Byron Bay & Aussie BBQ
• Minyon Falls in the Byron Hinterland – a stunning plunge waterfall that drops more
than 100 metres into a deep gorge
• Visit to a Koala Care centre in Lismore
• Lesbian dance at historic village hall
• The Great Barrier Reef -home to some of the world’s most beautiful marine life, the Great Barrier Reef supports incredible diversity, making it a unique experience for everyone. A true wonder of the World!
• A stunning ride on the Wavepiercer cruise from Port Douglas Reef Marina to Agincourt reef
• Daintree River Cruise
• Cape Tribulation beach and boardwalk
• Mossman Gorge: Indigenous presentation, afternoon tea and guided walk
Far from it in fact!!
Join us for a "Taste of Bloomsbury in Brighton" on our first Women's Weekend Getaway. Step back in time as you visit Monks House, home to literary icon Virginia Woolf and Charleston House, home of Virginia's sister, Vanessa Bell plus we'll be taking you to the breathtaking Seven Sisters country park, all nestled deep in the heart of Sussex.
You will stay in a 4* centrally located hotel with group breakfasts and hosted group dinners on Friday and Saturday night. Don't worry you'll have a chance to explore the beautiful quirky lanes of Brighton before we whisk you off on your visits. On Sunday it's time for a trundle through the Sussex countryside once again to enjoy the vistas as we take you along the coast to the Seven Sisters country park, followed by a good 'ole Sunday roast.
Now, a little intro to Charleston House, where we have our own guided tour on Saturday afternoon. It was in 1916, on Virginia Woolf’s recommendation that her sister & artist Vanessa Bell and painters Duncan Grant & his friend and lover David Garnett, move into Charleston. It was then occupied and brought to life (in more ways than one) by the family and their friends for the next 64 years. Can you imagine, if walls could talk what stories that house would have to tell! Before your visit why not watch the fact-based film, Carrington about the painter Dora Carrington played by the brilliant Emma Thompson who has an intimate but extremely complex bond with writer Lytton Strachey. This all unfolds and take place at Charleston House.
Also, an EXCLUSIVE.... Watch out for the new film now in production, Vita & Virginia. It's the fascinating true story about the love affair between socialite and author Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. During your visit to Monks House you will literally step back in time and almost feel the women in the room where they would sit and talk for hours and hours planning their next literary masterpiece or maybe their next clandestine meeting.
So what do you get when you cross a beautiful Greek island with a drag king competition, the amazing McChicks, heaps of sunshine, shimmering clear blue waters and almost a thousand women? The International Eressos Women's Festival of course.
This year Diva Destinations took a group of 65 women to the International Eressos Women's Festival on the Greek island of Lesvos. Here we stayed for what turned out to be one of the best 2 week lesbian holiday we've ever experienced. After a little blurry eyed from our 6.40am departure from Gatwick we arrived at Neilson's Beach Resort in Skala Eressos mid-afternoon on Saturday 9th September. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left the fun, laughter and frivolity never stopped. We stay at Neilson's for some good reasons ... 1) You are staying in a fantastic 4* resort with it's own private beach, pool and bars to go with both 2) Free watersports, mountain biking, tennis, fitness classes and kayaking 3) Club board accommodation which includes an extensive buffet breakfast and lunch daily with 4 evening meals each week. Then you only have a short walk into the village for all the Festival events. Like our Facebook page or our Lesvos Holiday page DivaDestinations
So read on to find out what to expect when you join us on our hosted group lesbian holiday to the Lesvos Women's Festival. Well definitely a whole lot of fun, merriment, hilarity and entertainment and lasting friendships. Diva Destinations run their own group activities during the day including kayak safaris, bike rides, group paddle boarding, walks into the village and countryside, social tennis, pool and beach games and walking the dogs at the local rescue centre. BUT don't worry if you're not sporty; one of our reps is always on the beach during the day ready for a chat and swim. A good number of our women spent many a happy hour chilling and-a-chatting with a book or drink in hand hanging out with our beach rep. The great thing is, not only do you have our daily activities but you also have the festival workshops that take place each day. And if you like swimming there is the Women's swim to the rock each morning from one of the beach bars. It's a lovely social meeting where you can swim (or watch) followed by a drink and chat.
What to expect from the International Eressos Women's Festival .... We had the best time at the Lesvos Women's Festival with its many varied and fun entertainment both day and night. From the daytime workshops and art exhibitions to the fantastic McChicks who played to a packed audience at their evening concert then wooed the women for a more intimate lunch time performance. There are film screenings with this year's hit being Wonder Woman, quiz nights and karaoke evenings. Then we have the famous Festival Fashion shows Part I & II and the fabulous play Deep In The Heart of Me and of course Diva Destinations own Drag Kings of Eressos competition. One thing for sure is you will never get bored!
We can't say enough about the holiday. So the only thing left to do is join us next year and experience this amazing trip for yourself. e:email@example.com
Meet our reps, Jen, Sophie and Zoe who will be doing it all over again in 2018.
On Sunday 18th June 2017 a group of 20 women, many never having met before set sail on a lesbian group cruise holiday, organised and hosted by Diva Destinations. From the moment we landed in Venice and started a group song on the local bus into Venice centre I think everyone knew it was going to be a fantastic week. Each day the group would meet for breakfast under the clear blue skies on the top deck restaurant. From there we would either head into port or on a planned excursion. Some preferred to just chill out and sunbathe on board or relax with a spa treatment which was available for a surprisingly reasonable price. Once we had all returned later in the afternoon it was usually time for a catch up and a dip in the pool before we met for our group dinner in the ship's main restaurant which we found relaxed and casual with excellent choice and quality of food. The evenings would be spent either at one of the planned social events hosted by Diva Destinations and exclusive to our group or we would check out the ship's entertainment for the night. A favourite haunt was the Karaoke bar but we also took in one of the many West End style shows put on by the NCL entertainment staff. If you fancied a flutter there was always the Casino or if it was a quiet drink there was one of the many bars to choose from one. We usually ended up on the top deck open air bar where we would thoroughly entertain each other into the early hours of the morning. There were a few late risers the next morning, needless to say! During our holiday we visited some breath-taking ancient cities including Dubrovnik, Olympia and Split plus the quaint and enchanting fishing port of Kotor in Montenegro. Along with these incredible locations, many cherished memories are firmly etched in our minds as we look back on what for many was one of the best weeks of their life. For 1 or 2 it was a life-changing week. You become caught up in a cruise bubble which, for 1 week a year is a truly incredible experience. You forget the stresses of everyday life, instead you are surrounded by new found friends, sharing some fantastic experiences together and relaxing aboard a beautiful floating hotel. It was a holiday where we arrived as strangers but left as lifelong friends. What a week that was. We're ready to do it all over again next year!!
After a year of trading as Focus Diva our loyal customers told us that the one thing they missed was our old name - Diva Destinations.
Focus Diva just didn't trip off the tongue quite as well.... Focus Diva, Diva Focus, Diva Travel, we were being called everything except the correct name. So we have returned to our original name which we launched with back in 2012. Watch out for our new video showing you how far we have come in 5 years. We now specialise in hosted group holidays and cruises for the LGBT community. Nothing else has changed, we have the same staff, the same high level of personal service and most importantly your holiday arrangements are 100% financially protected through our ATOL bonding.
You may remember the logo, the plane heading up to the skies, taking you to wherever you want to go. That's what a holiday is all about. Taking off and doing what YOU want. Well we are here to help you do just that. Our hosted group holidays are the perfect way to meet and mix with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment. Take a look at what we offer. If you don't fancy a group holiday then we can provide you with a tailor-made quotation for a holiday that suits your budget and requirements.