GAY FRIENDLY GRANADA

Almost 30 tour operators attended the second annual Patronato Provincial de Turismo de Granada held from Wednesday to Saturday last week aimed specifically to promote the city as a ‘Gay Destination’. Thanks to the participation of the operators and media from 14 countries in Europe, Oceania and North and South America the event can now boast to have moved into full internationalization.

While the first edition of the Granada fayre was intended only to introduce itself to the sector and the market, the second has had a strong promotional and commercial purpose to establish the province as a destination for LGBT, a segment of great interest because of its volume and level of expenditure which currently stands 30% above average.

Board vice president, José López Gallardo, said that the aim of the conference is "to strengthen the gay-friendly destination of Granada in catalogs, websites and within the minds of specialised tour operators around the world."

According to Lopez Gallardo, "the tourist council has decided to hold a second edition of the event following last year’s success, encouraged by the interest of the tourism sector of Andalusia and the support of Turismo Andaluz and Turespaña through the Spanish Offices of Travel abroad. "

Amongst those involved in organising the event along with Multicolor Travel, were LGBT wholesale agency for Spain and Portugal and the International Association of Gay and Lesbian Tourism (IGLTA), that brings to 2,000 travel professionals into the region from across the world.

The sessions were developed in the form of specialized familiarisation tours, in which all participants enjoyed and learnt about tourism in Granada and its regions so enabling them to be in a position to brief intended travelers and retailers on their return to their countries of origin.

The promotional program included visits to the Science Park and the Alhambra, a scenic flight by plane around the province, a 4×4 driving expedition into the Gorafe desert, cave accommodation, a tour of many local towns and a visit to the Costa Tropical. Most meals and accommodation was provided in ‘gay-friendly’ restaurants and hotels in the province.

Turespaña estimate the average daily expenditure of a tourist LGBT as 120 euros per day. This amount represents 30% more than the figure spent by other types of tourists and is justified by a higher consumption of nightlife and shopping, fashion, technology, health and beauty care.

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