500,000 gay tourists expected this year in Majorca
MORE than half a million gay tourists are expected to visit Mallorca in 2010, reports reservasgays.com. This could have a positive effect on the island’s economy as the average gay tourist spends up to 50 euros a day more than a heterosexual one, and their visits are not limited to the peak summer seasons.
Juan Manel Ordinas, co-owner of the Pegasus Hotel, does not think that the figures are correct, “It’s certain that the numbers of gay visitors are increasing, but I think the numbers have been inflated.”
Gay tourism has seen a growth in popularity in Mallorca, and subsequently the island has seen an increase in the amount of specialist hotels and services. However the owners of Kfé cafe in Gomila in Palma have not seen a higher demand this year from their clients. “There is less business than in previous years” said Tito, one of the owners of the cafe, although he doesn’t know if this is due to tourism or the fact that to be gay has become more socially normal “The reason why people go to specialist gay bars is because it feels less aggressive and more protective of values, to be gay is more acceptable these days and for this reason they do not need to go to specialist bars and clubs so much, they can diversify more”, explained Tito. “‘Gay Friendly’ bars don’t always need the rainbow flag to identify them, it’s the individual gay person who decides where they are comfortable and it doesn’t matter to them if the premises have been labelled ‘Gay Friendly’ or not”.
Kristin Hansen, the creator of Mallorca Gay Map is adamant that Mallorca has enormous potential as a destination for gay tourists. “Mallorca has a great choice of hotels from basic to luxury standard, as well as being on the routes for many airlines”, however Mallorca is yet to match popular gay tourist destinations Sitges, Ibiza and Mykonos. “The problem comes from the mentality of the local people. They are not prepared to see men or women walking hand in hand in the street or kissing. Many homosexuals in Mallorca are still ‘in the closet’ for fear of not being accepted”, he said. Kristin believes that “The future of gay tourism in Mallorca lies in leaving behind the segregation of gay from straight in order for everyone to mix and not just using the specialist hotels, bars and clubs”.
Juan Manel of the Pegasus Hotel was not so sure. “It’s clear that there are tourists of every sort, and some would prefer to go unnoticed in regular hotels, but others actually prefer a homosexual environment”. A report stated that the majority of gay tourists preferre