“Talk of the Eurozone crisis has not deterred LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) travelers who have pushed Greece up the rankings to appear in the top ten most desired gay destinations globally,” according to Out Now Business Class (www.OutNowBusinessClass.co
According to the “Out Now Global LGBT2020 Tourism Report,” for the first time Greece entered the top 10 of the most desired destinations in the world for gay travelers.
Coming in ninth place, Greece followed France, UK, US, Italy, Spain, Australia, Germany and Canada. The top 10 list closed with Argentina.
Athens also made its first appearance as a favored gay city destination in the top 10 cities of Europe.
In 2012, Out Now’s research showed that the total tourism spend by LGBT travelers globally would exceed $165 billion.
According to the World Tourism Organization, the LGBT consumer takes four trips a year, the majority in the mid range, immediately followed by luxury class.
A Greek strategy to appeal to gay visitors has been discussed every now and then by the country’s tourism officials. However, no actual decisions have been made.
Last year, the former Culture and Tourism Ministry had made a slight attempt to attract the gay market and included the gay pride event Athens Pride in its “Athens Every Week” theme-week pilot promotional program. Nothing was mentioned of the gay market after the pride event.
The Halkidiki Hotel Association and the Thessaloniki Tourism Promotion and Marketing Agency took a step further last year and approached the gay travel market through a fam trip for gay German journalists.
In addition, a gay tourism and entrepreneurship conference was held in Thessaloniki on the sidelines of Philoxenia 2011 last November.
This year, an intensive LGBT destination training program will take place at the upcoming 44th Xenia Exhibition (30 November-3 December). The program is a collaboration of Xenia Exhibitions–Conferences and Destsetters, LGBT travel marketing and destination development specialists.