The LGBT traveller is being courted by destinations all around the world. Abigail Healy looks at what’s hot for 2018.
The Swedish tourist board VisitSweden has worked hard to promote LGBT travel in the UK and is cementing its commitment further with a new global campaign, “Open for Everyone”.
For LGBT travellers planning a visit, suggest mid-summer when they will not only be able to bask in the midnight sun, but can also revel at Europride – hosted in Stockholm from July 27 to August 5.
From the city to the slopes, European Gay Ski Week celebrated its 10th anniversary this March in France’s Les Menuires and the resort will be gearing up for yet another epic celebration in 2019. The week-long event combines skiing and snowboarding with cabaret, parties hosted by international clubs and DJs, fine dining, pool parties and open-air apres ski. Pure Organisation hosts the event and offers agents commission.
Event director Kevin Millins says: “We’ve put together a full programme along with chalet, hotel and apartment accommodation to suit all budgets in a resort where everyone is very welcoming and friendly.”
For clients who prefer to shun the snow for the sand, look to Gran Canaria. Known as “Miami Beach of Europe”, hotspots on the Canary island include renowned gay beach bar Kiosk No7, marked by its weathered Pride flag, and Yumbo Centre, a mall with stores tailored to the LGBT community. Highlights of Gran Canaria’s events calendar include Maspalomas Gay Pride in May and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival Drag Queen Show, in February-March 2019.
Malta is another sun-soaked destination that welcomes LGBT travellers with open arms. It has just been ranked top on the European Rainbow Index 2018, winning the accolade for the third consecutive year. This year the island plays host to TropOut gay festival in September – it’s the first European country to host the event and coincides with Malta Pride.
For a sociable week of activities and cultural experiences, Slovenia’s Pink Week offers travellers the chance to explore the country with like-minded people. Clients can be sure of a classy experience thanks to organisation by Matej and Mattej, co-owners of Luxury Slovenia DMC. Activities at this year’s event, which has just taken place, included a visit to Lipica, home to the Lipizzan horses, a carriage ride through Unesco karst caves, and of course blow-out parties.