Thailand is fast becoming a global LGBTQIA+ hub

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thailand is on the brink of becoming the ultimate destination for the LGBTQIA+ community, thanks to its welcoming environment, progressive policies, and the recent launch of the Pink Plus Economy initiative.

This revolutionary move, announced on Sunday by Borderless.lgbt, aims to create a supportive ecosystem for LGBTQIA+ individuals in Thailand, encompassing living, family planning, and retirement.

The initiative is backed by Thailand Privilege, a state-owned enterprise dedicated to long-term visas. The support for the Pink Plus Economy is bolstered by Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly’s recent legalisation of same-sex marriage and upcoming policies favouring LGBTQIA+ family planning. If the legislation is approved by the Senate, Thailand will join Taiwan and Nepal as the only Asian nations to permit same-sex marriage.

Wei Siang Yu, chairman and founder of Borderless Healthcare Group, expressed his excitement about the bill, emphasising Thailand’s potential as a global centre for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives.

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“Thailand is perfectly suited to support more than 200 million LGBTQIA+ individuals within its proximity to wed, live, play, innovate, plan a family and retire in the country.”

The Pink Plus Economy extends beyond the traditional Pink Economy, introducing new avenues in inclusive medical tourism, retirement living, family planning, tech innovation, and film production in Thailand. Borderless.lgbt will offer Pink Plus membership packages featuring benefits like Thailand Privilege cards, telemedicine platforms, shopping vouchers, retirement living programmes, and more.

The launch has attracted attention from global economic experts, including Lee Badgett, chief economist of the Koppa LGBTI+ Economic Power Lab. She highlighted the growing economic influence of the LGBTQIA+ community, noting that by 2023, more than one in every five Gen Z individuals identify as LGBT, with similar trends observed globally.

Global hub

Manatase Annawat, president of Thailand Privilege Card, reinforced Thailand’s commitment to becoming a global DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) hub.

“Our programme allows legitimate couples and families to become members. We support the lifestyle and living in Thailand, promoting it as a destination or retirement hub for LGBTQIA+ people.”

Borderless.lgbt is also encouraging innovative ideas in health tech, AI, fintech, retirement living, and filmmaking as part of its mission to make Thailand a DE&I hub. The organisation has established a Pink Incubator in Bangkok to support inclusive startups and a high-tech call centre in Thong Lo to serve Pink Plus members. Additionally, an AI-enabled avatar will soon assist potential merchants and resellers of the Pink Plus package, breaking language barriers and facilitating seamless communication.

Thailand’s proactive approach and the Pink Plus Economy promise to usher in a new era of inclusivity, making it a prime destination for LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs and tourists, reported The Nation.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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