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Travel companies ‘need to do more to be gay-friendly’

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  1. Peter In Brisbane 8 Nov 2010, 9:14pm

    It wasn’t so long ago that I was denied service at the Longreach RSL club, even though I had served in the Australian Armed forces. Longreach is in far Western Queensland, Sheep and Cattle country and millions of dung hungry Flies.
    The manager of the club told the local paper that, “He wouldn’t serve me because I was a deviate and a Pervert”. At the end of a tiring days drive, two tired men travelling in Queensland can still be a difficult experience. “We only have a Double Bed”, an all too common answer from Missionary position Proprietors. The same suspicious looks were given to two travelling men in the Western Town of Dalby. We were questioned thoroughly with the usual veiled intent, and with an approval nod eventually given two single beds.
    Meanwhile, tired old farts at Queensland Tourism thinks it’s very clever to do the old sex angle bit, and show the world blond, sunburn’t bimbo’s dressed in scanty, two mens hankies, waving to the world and saying, “where the bloody hell are you”.
    There is very little tourist information on the Gay Pride Festival, even though it generates Millions of dollars into the Queensland economy. The money is redirected into Heterosexual activities and events. Forget the once gay and fabulous Gold Coast where veiled women now scour the shops seeking halal. And there will be none of that searching the forest for roots and fagots either. Fond memories of trawling the Spit Sand Hills is now the pleasure and domain of the Queensland Sex Police.

  2. What a lot of bollocks, Ian Johnson doesn’t know what he is talking about, he has no knowledge or experience in gay travel market, but make “researches” which are not true (and only his opinion, his ‘most desired’ destinations are NOT most desired), whole purpose is to make publicity for OutNow and nothing else. What a shame! Gran Canaria is a destination number 1! Always been and always will be.

  3. Well that’s just your opinion Nemesis. Gran Canaria would be bottom of my list of desired destinations, the OutNow list looks pretty accurate to me.

  4. Andrew Jones 9 Nov 2010, 3:41am

    I believe Ian’s research makes some valid points.

    I don’t for one second believe that Gran Canaria would rank in the top 10 of gay travel destinations – Spain as a whole yes, as it’s a staple of the English holiday diet – but business in Gran Canaria is hardly booming.

    The typical gay traveller, as the research shows, is well travelled and destination savvy often trying out new holiday places – certainly having an appetite for exploration.

    The issues stand that specifically gay travel companies are either overly niche and charging too much in comparison to what can be found on the Internet or even worse they operate to deliberately rip-off the gay consumer with no regard the customer in general. Which causes a lack of faith in the gay travel market as a whole.

  5. The Yumbo Centre may have been the hot gay place to go 15 years back, but nowadays it’s just tired, tatty, clichéd and dull.

    The way I see it is gay men want to be treated as equal, but complain when they are treated the same as all the brats, grannies and screaming kids. ie: cattle.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it.

  6. Spanner – that’s not the point. We all know what mass package tourism is like, which is why I avoid it. The point is specific disrespect or hostility experienced as a gay or lesbian couple when straight ones are being treated properly.
    That said, I personally have had good experiences. On two occasions hoteliers in small Spanish towns have expressed embarrassment at only having a double bed for me and my parter, and when we made it clear we were a couple accepted us without problems.

  7. Peter & Michael 9 Nov 2010, 12:15pm

    Unfortunately, having a Civil Partnerhip is not recognised outside the UK and having problems at a hotel in Gran Canaria, whereas amongst other trivialities would only unlock door to our accommodation once a day. We had to go to reception which was a hike of endless corridors and two lifts to have one of the staff with security guard to accompany both of us to our accommodation and have them open the door. This happened every day of our holiday. The hotel manager we guessed was swearing at us in Spanish. We would not go again to Spain.

  8. Peter & Michael: Yet another reason for dumping this farce of Civil Partnerships, and giving us the option to be married. All EU countries at least would have to respect and recognise that fact.

  9. Spain has full marriage for same-sex couples and is a member of the EU. Peter and Michael’s experience is weird on any basis – didn’t they have a key?

  10. I’ve recently booked a trip for both myself and my other half to Prague as a treat. I researched into it and it seemed to have a good gay scene so I thought – right, let’s have a look at the hotels.

    I found it really hard to find a hotel which looked half decent, not too pricey and which would cater for us as two gay men. I am naturally wary because it’s an Eastern European country and don’t fancy having my head kicked in.

    I’ve emailed loads of hotels there to ask whether they’re gay friendly and didn’t receive so much as a reply from any of them – so that bodes well.

    However, I did find a gay prague website and that proved helpful.

    The moral is, go on what your gut instincts and good old fashioned reserach tell you. Other’s research can give you an indication but it unlikely to be tailor made for everyone.

    And yes…now I am a little worried that we’re heading into unfriendly country.

  11. Peter & Michael 9 Nov 2010, 4:58pm

    Comment 9. Hi Riondo, A keycard which was cancelled each day, on the second day we had gone back to our room, keycard would not open door, back to reception and this continued every day of our holiday. We had complained to our holiday rep but he not interested. The holiday firm has now merged with another, not a nice experience, and of course lost our business.

  12. Dandelion 9 Nov 2010, 5:23pm

    I would just plan your own trip.

    “Gay friendly” is what “green” is in America (and maybe elsewhere, I do not know)- just a gimmick to make people feel good about themselves even though they are not getting what they think they are.

  13. Sadly, I think Dandelion is right. Package tourism is pretty awful anyway, but Peter and Michael’s experience is appalling. That said, I suppose faulty keycards can happen anywhere. Sounds like a shoddy hotel.

  14. I have gay people stay at my bed and breakfast http://www.carrhousefarm.co.uk who come to celebrate birthday and anniversaries and must like it as they return and some have made it as far as their honeymoons after their civil service. We have are happy to have same sex couples stay here even though we arent ourselves. I cant understand what the big deal is .Some of my bestest of friends are gay and I value their friendship greatly.

  15. I agree with Andrew Jones. Certainly Gran Canaria is still welcoming the crowds and I personally make an annual jaunt there for some late Winter sunshine. However I agree that Gay travellers want more than simply a beach and bars.. Egypt, Cuba, India, Latin America all spring to mind… even Antarctica! We’re not restricted by stereotypes.

    I don’t agree that mass market or straight companies are cheaper. There are several gay owned and operated operators out there, charging real value for money and quality. Big question is.. they all seem to claim they’re the UK’s leading gay travel operator or specialist so which one actually IS?
    Or is that even important… does number of employees, revenues, size and number of tours actually make you any good? Hmmmm!

  16. Yes, unfortunately we still live in a world on intolerance. I was raised in a country were being gay was a real problem and things have change in the last years. Even Castro’s daughter supports a gay movement. travel to Cuba

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