North Macedonia Trails Balkan Peers on LGBT Tourist Safety

Serbia ranks as the safest destination for LGBT tourists and North Macedonia as the worst among Balkan states featured on a list of 150 most-visited countries published by travel bloggers Asher and Lyric Fergusson.

Ranking countries from least safe to safest, the bloggers put North Macedonia in 77th place, sandwiched between Mozambique and Cambodia, and Serbia in 117th place, one better than neighbouring Croatia. That translates to a Grade D for North Macedonia and a Grade C for Serbia, where F represents "highest danger" for LGBT people and A "most safe".

Bulgaria ranks 99th, Bosnia and Herzegovina 100th, Romania 103rd, Montenegro 104th and Albania 111th.

The most dangerous destinations for LGBT people are Nigeria, Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, where, the bloggers wrote, "the death penalty or life imprisonment is still a sentence for being openly gay".

Using data from a variety of international sources, the bloggers created an 'LGBTQ+ Danger Index', taking into consideration eight factors including the status of same-sex marriage, criminalisation of hate-based violence and illegal LGBT relationships and propaganda/morality laws.

On their infographic, they marked the presence of hate crime against LGBT people in all Balkan countries except North Macedonia.

Inspired by the "real need to help people travel smarter, safer", the bloggers have published various travel instructions. In their latest, they note that some countries where homosexuality is illegal also happen to be popular vacation spots.

"Those looking for trans- and gay-travel-safe countries should reconsider popular vacation destinations like Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Myanmar, and Egypt as well as some of the more popular beaches in the...

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