Argentina LGBT Tourism: A Model Boom in Industry
Argentina has reported that the LGBT community is responsible for a significant increase in tourism.
The host of the annual GNETWORK 360 international gay tourism conference, for the seventh year this year, was lauded for promoting equality and being a model destination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, couples and families, according to Telam.
Globally, tourism grew by 3 percent in 2013, and LGBT tourism reached 9.7 percent, according to La Nacion.
But Argentina has been recognized as a top destination because of its laws guaranteeing equal treatment, according to Terra. It was the first Latin American country to recognize same-sex marriage.
The list of destinations within Argentina, which specifically developed marketing strategies to attract the LGBT tourists, include Mendoza, Bariloche, Buenos Aires, Salta, Jujuy, Iguazu, Puerto Madryn, San Martin de los Andes, El Calafate, Ushuaia, Rosario and Paraná.
A study published in 2012 by the U.N. World Tourism Organization and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association showed that Buenos Aires was consistently in the top two choices as a destination in Latin America, for individuals surveyed, and was perceived as having a low rate of homophobia.
Paul De Luca, GNETWORK360 event organizer, told La Nacion that there are still misconceptions about the LGBT community, and that includes that members tend to be wealthy, powerful and cultured.
But that is not the case and there is a need to change the perception, and create a more average image of the community, De Luca said.
Argentina's minister of tourism, Enrique Meyer, said that the increase of foreign tourists belonging to the LGBT community are important to bringing more money into the country.
Argentina is currently facing its second economic crisis in 13 years, when the country defaulted following a U.S. federal court ruling which required a payment in full of more than $1.5 billion in bonds to hold-out U.S. hedge funds. Argentina was blocked from making payments owed in debt restructured in 2005 and 2010, which the hedge funds did not participate in.
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