Wow! Sometimes money talks and when it does businesses listen. Tourism companies been listening to the LGBT community because it’s estimated that 10% or more of their revenue comes from this group. That’s a pretty big slice of the pie. According to Wikipedia, “The gay and lesbian segment is estimated at $55 billion annual market as of 2007.” So it is perfectly understandable that businesses like to make their location a big attraction.

The challenge these companies have is making their location LGBT friendly. Rio de Janeiro wants to become the world capital for gay tourism but they are having small problems with some opposition – mostly church groups. There bigger problems where there are some parts of the world that are really dangerous for LGBT people. There are cruise companies that put on trips for the LGBT crowd and they have to avoid certain islands in the Caribbean because they are dangerous for gay and transgender people.

And then there is Toronto. If you’re Canadian Toronto is the city you love to hate and the current city council is making it too easy for us to do just that. Mayor Ford snubbed the last Toronto Pride Parade with his absence and one of the city councillors wants to cut funding to this event. Are they nuts? I’m wondering why businesses in the city are not screaming at city council! I remember reading in one article that the pride parade and the events leading up to it bring over $130 million in revenue to city businesses. My question is how much of this money do they want to lose? Another question is why are they not trying to make the city even more attractive to the LGBT crowd? There’s money to be made and we’re quite willing to spend it.

Teresa

Links:

Wikipedia – LGBT Tourism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_tourism

Rio de Janeiro aims to become world capital of gay tourism
http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/jul/11/rio-de-janeiro-gay-tourism

One-million attend Toronto Pride parade, except Mayor Ford
http://www.680news.com/news/local/article/249016–one-million-attend-toronto-pride-parade-except-mayor-ford

Toronto councillor vows to cut Pride funding – at all costs
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-councillor-vows-to-cut-pride-funding—at-all-costs/article2086397/