Fri, Mar 01, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Firms prepare for boom in same-sex wedding business

By Chen Yi-chia and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Representatives of Air Canada Taiwan show their support for the LGBTQ community at Taiwan LGBT Pride in Taipei on Oct. 27 last year.

Photo courtesy of Air Canada

As Taiwan is soon to become the first Asian nation to legalize same-sex marriage, businesses providing wedding-related services have begun developing packages for same-sex couples.

A final version of the Executive Yuan’s “enforcement act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748” is expected to go into effect on May 24 if passed by the Legislative Yuan.

The act’s passage would greatly expand the market for businesses that cater to marrying couples.

The annual contribution to GDP made by members of the LGBTQ community has been estimated at US$4.6 trillion.

Airlines are one of the major sectors eyeing this massive “pink economy,” and many have started creating honeymoon packages that appeal to same-sex couples.

Australia’s Qantas Airways has gained a reputation as being diverse and friendly toward the LGBTQ community after it publicly expressed its support for same-sex marriage, and the US’ Delta Air Lines has travel packages aimed at the community.

Air Canada, which resumed direct flights to Taiwan two years ago, has also publicly expressed its support for same-sex marriage and has participated in Taiwan’s pride parade.

Air Canada Taiwan country manager Sophia Chen (陳美至) said that the company might offer its own honeymoon packages for same-sex couples.

Air Canada has established a section on its Web site for travelers in same-sex relationships, and has publicly stated that the company’s position is that all races, sexual orientations and religions are equal.

Lion Travel Service general manager Andy Yu (游國珍) on Sunday said that the agency is looking forward to providing honeymoon packages for same-sex couples after the new legislation takes effect.

Another agency, Cola Tour, said it also respects marriage equality and would be providing travel packages for same-sex couples once the act takes effect.

Cola is also considering offering packages specifically tailored to the LGBTQ community, it said.

Northern Taiwan has been in the lead in terms of providing wedding services for same-sex couples, due to the relative “openness” of people living in Taipei and surrounding cities, wedding services provider Little Bear said.

The passing of the legislation would make these services more accessible for same-sex couples throughout Taiwan, but they would still face challenges coming out of the closet and getting older family members to accept their marriage, the company said.

A wedding photographer surnamed Yang (楊) said that they expect many more same-sex people to become interested in the idea of marriage once the act is passed

The younger generation in particular is happy to see the wedding industry become so diverse and friendly toward the LGBTQ community, they said.

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