Published on : Monday, January 23, 2017
Travel and tourism sector is reviving its offers for gay tourists, who spend more when holidaying in sunny spots like Ibiza. This trend was studied at the FITUR tourism fair in Madrid, which came to an end this Sunday. Spain’s western region of Extremadura, for example, featured posters promoting annual gay pride festivities in Badajoz which began in response to homophobic comments made by a local politician.
It also promoted bird watching trips, local architecture and rural tourism for gay and lesbian travelers at a special section of the tourism fair. To quote Hugo Alonso of the Extremadura’s tourism promotion agency at the fair, “We are interested in volume. Gay and lesbians make up around 10 per cent of all tourists.” The goal is to appeal to the increasing number of gay and lesbian couples who are having children.
For most destinations this segment is attractive, since gays travel all year round and spend more on trips, and are rarely tied down by school holidays. They have more disposable income. Thomas Bomkes of Diversity Tourism, a German consultancy, said gay tourists spend “even more when they know they’re accepted.” Even the UNWTO said that this segment is a dynamic and influential segment in tourism sector. The Spanish capital generated about 150 million Euros (S$229 million) from its annual gay-pride festivities last summer which feature one of the world’s biggest pride marches.
This year, tourism revenue for Spain is expected to be even higher as Madrid will host World Pride in late June and early July. About three million people are expected to participate in this event. The beach resort of Maspalomas on Spain’s Canary Islands stages three pride events each year, which generate up to 20 million Euros each. There has also been a boom in the number of cruises, vacation clubs and bungalows targeted specifically at the gay market.