Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WTM – part two: the gay products about to send you on your way


The gay and lesbian before long will be spoilt for choice, slowly getting to a point of greater tolerance, acceptance, inclusion and respect within the travel industry. Further as more countries derail their homophobia and build real cornerstones of support and inclusivity we will have much further to travel.

India itself has decriminalised homosexuality (from an outdated British law), and countries towards the Middle East (including Israel and Turkey) are making major inroads – especially as Tel Aviv is one of the hottest gay spots of the Mediterranean.

But what else? Well it’s not all sunshine, beach bodies and bronzing  - gay ski weeks in North America have been growing for sometime, but now Europe has its fair share of ski weeks, including one at Les Deux Alps in April Switzerland’s Arosa Gay Ski Week [http://www.gayskiweek.ch/en/] is now fixed running between 8 – 15 January 2011. Set in the idyllic Swiss Alps surrounded by men on skis and boards – rampaging down the slops, yum! Who wants to warm them up after a cold day in the mountains?

Another development in Switzerland is that the Tourism board is actually putting all its hotels through a certification programme for their gay credentials. Switzerland Tourism has become the first national tourism organisation to join the GayComfort training and certification program. All GayComfort certified properties will be listed on www.MySwitzerland.com/gaylesbian and staff will have undertaken dedicated online training on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) travel issues via http://www.GayComfort.com. Making selection of hotels much much easier.

Fancy a trek to somewhere new and exciting? Well, India is preparing itself and with the website of hand-picked gay welcoming hotels – Further Afield [http://www.furtherafield.com] is soon to add properties in India. Alternatively, grab a tour with gay tour specialist Yellow Brick Road http://www.yellowbrickroadtours.com/ taking you to places not traditionally gay – but that certainly have a vibrant gay culture.

If you fancy something incredible prepare for San Paulo’s gay pride event where they are expecting over 4.5million visitors in 2012, it was recorded as the largest gay pride in the world – so Brazil is the place to be!

With one further exciting developments in the gay travel space – World Rainbow Hotels will open its doors in 2012 with more products, packages and offers for the gay and lesbian traveller. Here you will be able to learn about destinations, book online from selected gay-friendly and certified gay-welcoming properties of all star ratings and qualities. 

All round a great year and brilliant development for the gay travel market.