The British Columbia Tourism Ministry has recently got itself in hot water over a brochure which prohibited BC-based businesses from promoting gay and gambling tourism to visitors from China. After receiving several complaints, the ministry has pulled the brochure and has taken steps to ensure that a similar situation does not occur in the future.
The brochure contained a section titled “How to Market Your Business in China”. In it, the authors informed businesses that they were prohibited from encouraging Chinese tourists from taking part in gambling activities and those geared towards the gay community. They claimed that the China National Tourism Administration mandated these restrictions.
In Canada, Vancouver is a top location for both gay and gambling tourism. Being a popular destination for visitors from China, both tourist markets could lose out on many valuable opportunities if they cannot promote their services among this community.
A wide range of members in BC’s tourism community took offense to the brochure. The gay and lesbian community was concerned over possible discrimination and made its opinion known in the public. Casino operators across the province were also upset by the brochure. In response, the tourism ministry pulled the pamphlet and had its contents rewritten.