In a country where tourism is one of its main sources of revenue, a record-breaking summer in the restaurant sector, air transport, and hotel occupancy is without doubt great news for the economic recovery. While tourism generally has risen nearly 12% over recent years, there is even better news for gay tourism which is up about 28% over 2015 and 34% higher than the average figures recorded in previous summers.
The data come from a recent study conducted by Cromosomax in collaboration with a group of party promoters, owners of gay bars, accommodation managers focusing on the LGBT community and specialized travel agencies. The study helps to explain why every year more destinations try to attract more gay travelers.
The average spending of gay tourists is more than 30% higher than spending by tourists generally. It is estimated that the gay tourist spends about 130 euros a day on entertainment and dining, beating the average tourist by, among other factors, their greater presence and social activity. This spending is always associated with exclusive products and services due to the community orientation which always opts for what is gay-friendly rather than what is more generic.
As a result, gay tourism contributes more than 9 billion euros a year to the Spanish economy, which is 18% of total tourism revenue. This is very significant considering that the gay population represents between 6 and 8% of the world population.
In Spain, the destinations bringing in the most revenue from gay tourism are the already established Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Sitges, Torremolinos and Benidorm, which have now been joined by Barcelona, the big attraction for summer 2016. According to the study, the gay tourists came mostly from the UK, Germany and the US.
Given the delicate socio-economic situation of the country, this remarkable growth in direct income from gay tourism is positive news and it is a confirmation of the great work done in the area of social integration and capture of an emerging market.