Vienna aims to muscle into growing gay travel market

Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:44am EDT
 
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By Victoria Bryan and Derek Brooks

FRANKFURT/VIENNA (Reuters) - Vienna has joined a growing list of European cities seeking to attract lesbian and gay tourists who are expected to remain willing to spend on travel while other recession-hit travelers cut back.

City authorities in Vienna this month released a review of the Austrian capital's gay and lesbian tourism strategy, deciding to focus on travelers interested in music, culture and history -- and with money to spend.

The review followed a study among gay and lesbian travelers from outside of Vienna that found their average household's monthly net income was 385 euros ($500) higher than that of other tourists to Vienna.

Clemens Koeltringer, marketing analyst from the Vienna Tourists Board, said this target group was "high profile, luxury customers who go to the opera and enjoy very good food".

"Vienna is not a Mykonos, it must not be," Koeltringer told Reuters, referring to the Greek party destination. "This is the main reason we are differentiating ourselves."

Vienna is not alone in identifying the potential of the gay and lesbian market.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) leisure travel is forecast to rise almost 10 percent to $181 billion in 2013, according to an LGBT Travel Report 2013 by marketing specialist Out Now Global.

Germany, Bulgaria and Greece were among other destinations promoting gay friendly credentials at the world's leading travel trade show, the ITB Travel Fair, in Berlin earlier this month.   Continued...

 
A waiter serves a drink at Cafe Savoy, which is a lesbian, a gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cafe, in Vienna March 20, 2013. Vienna has joined a growing list of European cities seeking to attract lesbian and gay tourists who are expected to remain willing to spend on travel while other recession-hit travellers cut back. City authorities in Vienna this month released a review of the Austrian capital's gay and lesbian tourism strategy, deciding to focus on travellers interested in music, culture and history -- and with money to spend. Picture taken March 20, 2013. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger