New Zealand promotes itself as gay wedding destination in Australia

2013-04-24 09:12:40 GMT2013-04-24 17:12:40(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WELLINGTON, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government's tourism agency has begun promoting the country as a wedding destination for Australian gay and lesbian couples following last week's law change to allow same-sex marriages.

Tourism New Zealand had launched a "100 percent Pure Choice" campaign on social media, including its own Facebook page, after New Zealand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region and the 13th in the world to legalize same-sex marriages.

"There has been a very positive response from same sex-couples in Australia, many of which are interested in a New Zealand wedding," Tourism New Zealand general manager Australia Tim Burgess said in a statement Wednesday.

The agency's Facebook page, which runs the country's "100% Pure New Zealand" campaign was given a "100% Pure Choice" image in rainbow colors immediately after the New Zealand Parliament passed the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act last week, which had generated more than 3,000 "likes."

The agency was planning to run a competition via social media for gay couples to win a luxury wedding in New Zealand.

"While Tourism New Zealand already markets to the wedding and honeymoon sectors, it does not generally specifically target the gay and lesbian community," said Burgess.

"However, we believe that New Zealand is a great destination for a wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway - for all travellers - and our future activity will show just how easy it is for same sex couples to cross the Tasman for a wedding in New Zealand."

The Act, which allows two people to marry regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, was passed with the votes of 77 legislators, including that of Prime Minister John Key, to 44.

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