A new study has revealed the worries LGBTI travellers face when on holiday, including discrimination and violence.

The survey of 2,000 couples, by Virgin Holidays, showed that 95 per cent of gay couples don’t feel safe holding hands when on holiday.

In contrast, three quarters of the straight couples surveyed said they were more openly affectionate when vacationing.

One in ten gay couples reported being threatened with physical violence while on holiday.

A third said they had experienced discrimination, ranging from being stared or laughed at, to verbal abuse.

Many said they feared judgment from hotel staff, and some had encountered insidious acts of discrimination such as having their beds separated by housekeeping.

“Holidays should be relaxing, fun and full of adventure,” said Joe Thompson, managing director of Virgin Holidays.

“Unfortunately for [LGBTI] people this isn’t always the case.”

Virgin Holidays last year revealed a three-year plan to improve its services for LGBTI travellers, focusing on educating staff and customers and influencing suppliers.

“It is shocking that in today’s society some of us can’t even enjoy a simple holiday without fear of discrimination,” said Virgin founder Richard Branson.

“At Virgin Holidays, we believe everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, has the right to be whoever they are, wherever they are.”

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