VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 2 / — The Canadian Tourism Commission launched a new gay and lesbian advertising campaign on May 15 with a destination wedding invitation for U.S. same-sex couples. The country is one of few in the world to extend full marriage equality to all people. The ad first appeared in the May issue of Passport magazine, as part of a gay and lesbian integrated marketing program that will also include sponsorship of LGBT film festivals, the Human Rights Campaign and special events in select markets across the U.S.

Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are among the favorite destinations for gay and lesbian travelers. The provinces of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia all legalized same-sex marriage prior to federal extension of marriage equality, with a significant percentage of all marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples going to Americans. In fact, in some cases Americans have outnumbered Canadians seeking licenses. The latest campaign recognizes that marriage is just one more reason to visit Canada, whether travelers plan to wed or not.

“There are so many reasons to visit Canada. All travelers are welcome and any traveler can tailor a travel experience that is just right for them,” said Susan Iris, Vice President, U.S. for the Canadian Tourism Commission. “We have great cities that offer everything from European charm to a modern fusion of culture, and all that is reflected in our food, shopping and atmosphere. We believe that is why so many people are choosing to come see Canada.”

Canada has established a reputation as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world. Marriage is a significant indicator of the hospitality in store for gay and lesbian visitors whether they are drawn to the country by wedding bells, fine dining, some of the biggest parties and festivals in the world, or world-class skiing and outdoor experiences.

Industry led, market driven and research based, the Canadian Tourism Commission is a Crown corporation that works in partnership with the private and public tourism sectors to market Canada as a four-season destination. To access research and information focused on and for the tourism industry, please visit www.canadatourism.com. To contact the Canadian Tourism Commission or to plan a visit, log on to www.canada.travel/gay.