How does Mexico further tap into the lucrative LGBT market, a sector that accounted for 3 million international visitors to Mexico in 2014 out of a total of 29.1 million international visitors?
Globally, this type of tourism is growing at an annual rate of 10.3%, compared with 4.7% overall growth in tourism, according to data from the World Tourism Organization.
Within Mexico, the top gay-friendly destinations for LGBT travelers include Cancun, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta, followed by Cuernavaca, Oaxaca and Guadalajara, according to Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, undersecretary for innovation and tourism development in the Ministry of Tourism.
Results of a recent study carried out by the ministry and the Mexican government indicated that the average spend per LGBT traveler was approximately $1,550 per person, practically double the $780 average spend.
During his recent swearing-in ceremony as a member of the new board of the National Association of Trade and LGBT Tourism of Mexico, Joaquin Gonzalez acknowledged that LGBT travelers “have become an important source market that can bring huge benefits by offering a variety of services, inclusiveness and respect for this tourism niche. This is an important market for us and needs further support from us.”
He said that the ministry and the Mexican government currently are studying the potential of Mexico’s tourism destinations with respect to the LGBT segment.
A recent workshop on LGBT tourism drew participation from 15 Mexican states interested in entering the niche market and in updating their range of tourism products to appeal to this market.
“The Ministry of Tourism supported the LGBT fairs held in Guadalajara in 2013 and in Puerto Vallarta in 2014. We’re supporting this next one on Sept. 18 and 19 in Merida,” Joaquin Gonzalez said.
The ministry also is working to supply information and training resources for tourism service providers for the LGBT market in the states of Guerrero, Veracruz and Morelos.