Jonathan Higbee's picture

NYC Closes Moscow Tourism Office Over Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

New York City tourism officials don't have any interest in promoting the city in the Russian market due to the country's outrageous anti-gay laws. NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing company, has closed up shop in Moscow, according to Gay City News, which reports:

Chris Heywood, senior vice-president for communications for NYC & Company, told Gay City News that the anti-gay laws and rising anti-gay violence “prevented us from sending our tourism sales staff into the [Russian] market. We do have LGBT staff.”

He added that other factors were at play in the decision as well.

The announcement of the closing of the Moscow office for NYC & Company, one of 18 around the world, was made by the group’s CEO, George Fertitta, at a Crain’s New York Business forum on tourism on September 25 at John Jay College. According to a source who was present, Fertitta explained that the main reason he was taking the action was because of the anti-gay laws, but the story was not picked up or announced in a press release.