New York City's tourism marketing arm, NYC & Company, is no longer working with representatives in Moscow who help them reach the Russian market, reports Gay City News.
NYC & Company representatives admit that Russia's rampant homophobia, which includes government-approved antigay laws, contributed to their decision, but also say it's part of a strategy to better target markets in Latin America. NYC & Company does admit there were safety concerns for gay employees; the rising tide of homophobia and violence "prevented us from sending our tourism sales staff into the [Russian] market. We do have LGBT staff."
The decision by NYC & Company was heralded by state senator Brad Holyman, who told GCN that, "I think that's a prudent move by NYC & Company given the hostile climate.” GCN inquired if New York state tourism officials would sever their ties with Russia, but apparently there weren't any to begin with. Read more here.