According to a presentation at this year’s Gay Tourism Expo held in Bergamo, Italy, gay tourism rakes in 2.5 billion Euros—that’s nearly 3.4 billion United States dollars—per year. The study was conducted by GfK Eurisko, one of the world’s largest market research companies.
GfK Eurisko’s research indicates that 44 percent of LGBT tourists have a diploma, while 37 percent have a degree. 17 percent are freelancers, while the average adult population of freelancers is only three percent. 12 percent are reported to be managers. LGBT tourists thus have a higher income than those within the total adult population: 42 percent have a salary of 1500 to 3000 Euros per month, or $2000 to $4000, compared to 28 percent of Italy’s whole adult population.
The study also found that LGBT Italians travel more often than the rest of Italy’s population—about 56 versus 45 percent respectively. They also tend to travel across Europe and in North America for long holidays, rather than within Italy.
GfK Eurisko named Mykonos (32 percent of travelers), Barcelona (15 percent), and Ibiza (13 percent) as the top gay-friendly destinations. San Francisco, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, and New York were also ranked highly. 30 percent of LGBT travelers claimed no budget restrictions, and 37 percent rely on professionals to plan their vacations. 62 percent prefer art and culture destinations, and 39 percent desire friendly facilities where they will feel accepted and free to relax.
It was also reported that 38 percent of LGBT tourists live alone, and 45 percent hide their sexual orientation.