An uproar broke out earlier this week in the Canadian province of British Columbia when a brochure sent by the provincial government to business owners entitled “How to Market Your Business to China” warned against promotions involving gay tourism, casinos or gambling.
“In alignment with the [Canadian Tourism Commission], Tourism BC will also require that any partner operator agrees to … prohibit the promotion of casinos, gambling and gay tourism, per the China National Tourism Administration,” read a passage from the 58-page brochure.
B.C. tourism minister Pat Bell, who was in China at the time, explained that this was a deal that was “negotiated between the federal government and the Chinese central government”.
“We’re not endorsing the position, we’re simply stating it as a matter of fact. It could be that we could have worded it better, but it is important that people know what those rules are if they want to market into China,” he added.
The assertion was later found to be erroneous. Pat Bell has issued an apology and ordered the offending passage to be removed from the brochure:
“The most current information I have is that it is not part of the agreement between China and the federal government, that it was advice provided to whoever prepared the document that that was the standard practice, but it is unclear to me who provided that advice,” Bell said in a call from China.
“It is certainly not my position, nor our view that that would be appropriate,” he added.
Since there’s no federal agreement between the Chinese and Canadian governments on a blanket ban on gay tourism, it would be interesting to find out who actually stuck that passage into the brochure.
Anyhow, now that the idea of such a ban has actually been fed into the minds of Chinese tourism officials, we really wouldn’t be surprised if it became reality some day. Thanks, guys.
Lots more gay stuff here.
And more on Canada here.