Attention to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) market is imminent as part of the diversification of the tourism markets for the Riviera Nayarit.
The Riviera Nayarit is a viable destination for this segment thanks to its infrastructure, quality, luxury, the diversity of its coastal towns and its innate warmth and inclusivity towards tourists, which presents an annual growth of 11% versus the traditional segments at 3.5% according to the International Gay Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).
They also cited this market spends $600 billion dollars a year in tourism. Within the United States—a natural market for our destination—same-sex couples earn 20.4% more than conventional couples.
Forty-five percent of homosexual couples in the United States travel abroad versus 9 percent of heterosexual couples, plus they travel a minimum of four times a year and spend an average of 30 percent more. They are both trendsetters and brand loyal.
All these numbers justify an eventual growth of this market towards the Riviera Nayarit, especially considering there are already hotels in the area that manage yearly LGBT groups and symbolic weddings.
Case in point: the Hard Rock Hotel. It receives visits from groups such as Atlantis and Olivia, which together brought in more than 1,500 guests from the LGBT segment in the span of two weeks. This hotel has an “Out Now” certification, which indicates hotel staff has been trained to understand and provide the best service to the LGBT market.
In another example, the Iberostar Playa Mita offers same-sex weddings. Various hotels in the area are also open to this market, including the Grand Palladium, Matlali, Occidental Grand, Garza Canela and St Regis, among others.
Chef Betty Vázquez commented that since the ‘50s the historic Port of San Blas has been open to this particular market, which was well-received by the locals to the point that there are now businessmen within this segment who are working in favor of Nayarit.
“There is a large LGBT community in town, all of them accepted and approved. Everyone simply sees them as productive and hard-working members of the community. In light of this, the LGBT community felt comfortable and little by little has stayed in the village, whether seasonally or for the long term,” said Betty Vázquez.
An LGBT Confex was recently held in the area sponsored by the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau. This event opens the door to a renewed relationship with the destination and with this important market for the region’s tourism.
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