We met Kyle Brands in Barcelona, a young guy studying International Tourism Management and Consultancy in Holland. He is writing a thesis about the acceptance of homosexuality and the influence on gay men’s identity and he talked to one of our tour guides, Eloi Morte.
Barcelona is one of the ‘pink cities’ and one of the 5 biggest gay scene cities in the world, says Eloi. Spain is very open minded and friendy, especially Barcelona. The politicians support the gay community since 1998 the first law in Catalonia for supporting the gay community was accepted and in 2005 Spain was one of the first countries in the world to legalize the gay-marriage. Last march one disco in Barcelona was sued for not letting transsexuals entering the club, and the transsexuals won the court. This shows that the people in Barcelona fight for the gay rights.
The Catalan people are really involved in the gay scene of Barcelona. That allows Rainbow Barcelona to bring costumers and let the world know everyone is welcome in Barcelona, gay people can hold hands and kiss in the street if they feel like doing so and no one is even going to turn around because they are used to it. The popularity of Barcelona did increase due to the popularity of Sitges back in the 70s and 60s. Sitges was a very popular town where all the bohemian people, writers, sculptors, architects went to during the dictatorship time, in order to be gay and see other gay people. This really helped Barcelona a lot to become what it is now.
At least 50% of the gay tourist are closed in their own country about their sexuality, so they come to Barcelona and feel free and are who they are. Eloi sees that some tourist, once they arrive in Barcelona, dress the way they want to dress, party the way they want to party, they download gay applications on their phone, and do the things they see others can do here and are normal.
The fact that Eloi works, as a gay men, with gay travellers, lead to that they are more friendly as they feel empathy towards each other and feel more comfortable. They can talk about anything; saunas, cruising areas, gay bars, gay clubs, information about the city, so the people feel really comfortable with that. That is what they write in the comments about the company as well. The heterosexual community is more concerned about what to see during the tour, and after the tour it ends, they do not tend to have any relationship with the tour guide or company.
Rainbow Barcelona is not only adding something during the tour itself, but cares about the tourist during their whole stay in Barcelona.
While planning a tour it is important that the tourist see everything they want to see as a tourist, but next to that, all the gay information is given. The best bars, restaurants, clubs, areas, are told and maps and discounts are given. Eloi tells them that the community is very safe and they do not need to worry about being gay in Barcelona.
“It’s not a city or a country that you visit, it is a lifestyle”
“Coming to Barcelona as a gay tourist is not just a holiday, it is a whole package that creates an experience”
Also if you are not staying within the gay area, gay tourist do not need to be afraid of not feeling welcome as 80% of the accommodations of Barcelona is gay friendly. This because of the fact that the gay-scene in Barcelona is very present, and the gay tourist is an interesting target market to focus at. The first hetero-friendly hotel opened its doors last year, and the second one is going to open next year. Hetero-friendly hotels show that they are accepting all the LGBT and straight tourist.
You can find out more about our staff here: http://rainbowbarcelona.com/en/content/4-gay-tour-guide-barcelona-about-us