Spain to Seduce the ‘Pink’ Market
3 Mar, 2008
The National Tourist Office of Spain to target the Singaporean Gay (LGBT) Community
Singapore, 3rd March 2008 – Starting from 2008, the National Tourist Office of Spain will begin an online campaign in a bid to reach out to the gay market within the South-East Asian region, specifically in Singapore.
In order to reach out the Singaporean gay community, Spain has decided to work with Fridae.com which has been ranked as the No.1 most visited gay and lesbian website in Singapore from January to March 2007 by Hitwise, a leading online competitive intelligence service.
In 2006, Fridae.com was also the stickiest site in Singapore based on Nielsen/Netratings. Fridae attracted 380,000 unique browsers and 50 million page impressions per month. The average session duration has increased from 12 minutes to 18 minutes in January 2007.
“Working with Fridae allows us to hit the pink market in a subtle manner. Although, the general community behaviour towards the pink market in South-East Asia is quite lax, it still sometimes remains a taboo subject,” said Mr Enrique Ruiz de Lera, Director of NTO Spain, SE Asia, Australia, New Zealand and India, “Yet, one must realize that this is a huge niche market that cannot be ignored.”
From 3rd March onwards, Spain’s advertisements will go live on Fridae.com, the ads were created solely for the purpose of targeting the gay market. Also, Spain’s better known gay areas and cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Sitges and Ibiza have been featured in Fridae’s city guides – the first European country gay guide on the website.
“Fridae is very enthusiastic about working with Tour Spain to promote Spain as a destination of choice for the Asian gay and lesbian traveler. “ added Dr Stuart Koe, CEO of Fridae, “Gays and lesbians are known to be avid travelers, and based on Fridae’s research data, spend more than four times per capita compared to the average tourist. Spain, with its rich cultural and design heritage and gay-friendly society, is a perfect holiday choice.”
The gay community otherwise known as the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual & Transgender) community is a dream yet somewhat neglected market in the tourism industry. According to a recent US study conducted by Community Marketing, one of the world’s leading consultants on Gay tourism, gay tourism practitioners spend $64 billion a year on gay travel. In the US alone, the adult GLBT community has total economic spending power of more than $600 billion a year – in 2006, the gay market was estimated to be worth $660 billion in disposable income. Community Marketing found that for every one dollar that was invested in marketing gay tourism, at least $150 was made in return of investment due to the direct spending in shops, hotels, restaurants and other attractions.
The study also revealed that 77% of respondents said they shop for hotels and book online, while 29% said they book accommodations by phone or in person through a travel agent or directly with the supplier. 86% of respondents took at least one flight (up slightly from 2006) with a median of six flights in the last 12 months. 81% said they shop and book their flights online.
An additional 25% attended a Gay Pride celebration where they stayed overnight, making it one of the most prominent “gay motivators” for taking a trip.
Spain provides one of the highest degrees of liberty for the LGBT community and is one of the five countries that allow same-sex marriage. The culture has been exported internationally with film directors such as Pedro Almodóvar (best known for his latest work, Volver starring Penelope Cruz), who is openly gay and has incorporated elements of underground and gay culture into mainstream forms with wide crossover appeal, thus redefining perceptions of gays in Spanish cinema and Spain. Events like Europride which was celebrated in Madrid earlier this year has also marked a turning point in the LGBT community within Spain.
“Spain is one of the friendliest and most hospitable countries in the world, and that goes for every visitor, including the LGBT community.” says Mr Ruiz de Lera, “The LGBT community consist of a young, affluent and travel-savvy audience that will find in Spain an irresistible mix of arts, culture, history, its pulsating nightlife, fashion and an amazing variety of food and wine. Fridae was the obvious partner to convey this message to the Southeast Asian gay community."
Spain is popular among gay tourism practitioners because of the liberal behaviour towards gay, its outstanding gay infrastructure (bars, businesses, hotels, nightlife, and entertainment) and finding security and safety within this open-minded community, apart from the other products that Spain offers to all tourists.
The most important destinations for gay tourists who visit Spain are Madrid and its chueca neighbourhood, Barcelona, Sitges and Ibiza.
About National Tourist of Office
The National Tourist Office of Spain is responsible for promoting and marketing Spanish tourism abroad. The NTO of Spain in Singapore covers the Southeast Asian, Australian, New Zealand and Indian markets respectively. The NTO is based in Singapore and organises events which help promote tourism to Spain in these markets, marketing all areas of tourism in Spain and also working with Autonomous regions, local entities and the private sector in achieving this aim.