Despite openly gay people being 2.6% of Europe, they spend 8% of the $632 billion that the European Union estimates is spent on tourism
A new report has revealed gay Europeans spend up to â‚¬50 billion ($65 billion, £41 billion) each year on tourism.
The Gay European Tourism Association has estimated the number of openly gay people in Europe is about 26 million, which is 2.6% of the population.
The figure ranges from 5-10% in Western Europe, to just 0.25% in Turkey and former Soviet states.
Carlos Kytka, Executive Director of GETA, said: ‘Gay people are a great market for the tourism industry.
‘As we tend not to have children we have more disposable income and free time.
‘We have a higher propensity to travel, particularly in quieter periods outside school holidays.’
The report also estimates there is an additional market of gays spending $112 billion from outside Europe, including the USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan and Australia.
Although ‘out’ gay people only represent 2.6% of the population, gay people spend 8% of the â‚¬632 billion that the European Union estimates is spent on tourism in the continent each year.
More hotels chains, like the Marriott, airlines like Lufthanza, and car hire companies like Affordable, are targeting the gay market.
‘You don’t have to paint your hotel pink to appeal to gay guests,’ said Kytka.
‘You just need to make us feel welcome. Gay people who are questioned about sharing a double bed or excluded from honeymoon and valentine offers are not going to come back.’
Speaking to Gay Star News, Manuel Diaz Cebrian, European director of the Mexican Tourism Board said the gay market has the ability to counter the negative effects of seasonal tourism.
He said: ‘It doesn’t necessarily need to travel during summer or holiday vacations or when kids are off school.
‘The majority of the gay market has the ability to travel year-round. You might decide to stay home for the holidays and take your vacation after, or work during the summer and go abroad after students and families return home.
‘This is hugely beneficial because this is when hotels and travel tend to be cheapest.’
Other estimates have placed even higher values on LGBT global tourism, suggesting it is worth over $170 billion worldwide.