This article was published on February 2nd, 2020
Never underestimate the power of the LGBTQ+ community to revolutionize and re-direct their status. Over the last three decades, the disposable income the LGBT community wield cannot be ignored any longer, and now there are cities throughout the world that have shifted their stances and rewritten their books in recognition of the impact of the pink dollar.
Gay communities are known for transforming cities through travel, and as these global opinions shift, there are still obstacles to be confronted, but through the efforts of initiatives that face the issues head on, the stigma around the LGBTQ+ community is rapidly diminishing, reconstructing aspects of culture, social scenes, laws, and employment.
Travel Options Beyond New York and San Francisco
These days, there are far more cities to choose from than the staples of New York, San Francisco, Paris, London, and Miami. The greatest gift of traveling as a gay man in the new millennium is that our culture and our people are well represented in a great deal of the world, with many cities welcoming gay people by offering gay-friendly establishments, gay neighborhoods, and gay events that have revitalized and strengthened the community.
Why have many of these places decided to cater to the LGBTQ+ community? No two cities are alike in this regard, but one of the prevailing reasons is that recessions have forced many cities to rethink the ways in which they generate revenue, and hospitality is typically a huge component of a city’s earning power over a fiscal year.
As such, progressive cities have built safe havens for people from all walks of life, going above and beyond the standards to bring inclusiveness and acceptance to the forefront. Since the revolution that was Stonewall, LGBTQ+ travelers have far more options available to them from cruises and tours specifically designed for the gay community. There are not even gay getaways for gay families, weddings, or even romantic staycations.
Mid-Sized Cities Ramp Up Their LGBTQ+ Love
Mid-sized cities that previously would have flown under the radar in terms of gay travel have now become hot spots for many gay travelers, including – but not limited to – Denver, Columbus, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Phoenix, Kelowna, New Orleans, Copenhagen, St. Lucia, and more.
No doubt, the disposable income of the LGBTQ+ community is no longer underestimated or taken for granted, and now cities that want it must ramp up their efforts in order to get piece of the substantial pie. In order for a city to be deemed ‘LGBTQ+ friendly’, they must go beyond mere tolerance of the people in it, but must be able to connect visitors with the local businesses, incorporate non-discrimination policies, undergo diversity awareness training, and above all else, make them feel welcome.
Same-Sex Marriage & The Future of Gay Travel
Another boost to cities has been same-sex marriage laws that have passed around the world and created a huge boon in business in regards to weddings and honeymoon vacations. Still in relative infancy, the gay marriage and honeymoon business has generated billions worldwide already, with many hotels specifically catering to the LGBTQ+ community in an effort to meet demand for top-quality accommodations.
As the pink dollar continues to be a viable market and expanding even more each year, there will only be more options for gay travellers to enjoy worldwide as a result.