Barcelona won the title of best gay tourist destination outside the United States at this year’s Gay Travel Awards, in recognition of its work in promoting LGBTIQ + tourism.
The Gay Travel Awards are widely regarded as the most significant awards given to global LGBTIQ + tourism initiatives and have been called the Oscars of Gay Tourism by the Wall Street Journal. Each year, they present their awards to destinations that have passed their first filter for the final of the competition and have proven to be the best of the best in their categories.
Thousands are present in the first round and are then filtered into hundreds of finalists. Nominees are chosen based on recommendations from the public on GayTravel.com and GayTravelAwards.com. Different publishers, experts and tens of thousands of public voters then selected 34 winners in 33 different categories. According to Turisme de Barcelona director Marian Muro, âBarcelona is proud to have been chosen as a non-American destination that best promotes and supports LGTBIQ + tourism. An award which, in short, recognizes the city’s openness, inclusiveness and hospitality.
The award follows a long program of Turisme de Barcelona, ââaiming to define the city as a benchmark in the defense of diversity and the rights of LGBTIQ + people. This year alone, they have organized several actions to continue promoting the best gay tourism in the city. La Vanguardia reports that the consortium participates in different forums and competitions such as Pride or the IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) convention, which is held every year in different cities around the world and brings together agents and suppliers specializing in this sector of more than 80 countries.
As well as working to make Barcelona a welcoming place, the award can also contribute to the economy of the region. According to an IGLTA study, LGBTIQ + people travel three times more than heterosexuals, with a longer stay at destination and average spending three times higher. Spain receives six million tourists from the LGTBQ + group who spend proportionately 40% more than the rest.
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