Rio de Janeiro – The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) holidaymakers coming to the city is increasing, as Rio de Janeiro sets itself up as a new capital of gay tourism.
Leading gay travel agent Mantrav reported that its bookings to the destination increased from 32 in 2008 to 89 in 2010. In the same year, 880,000 LGBT tourists accounted for 25% of visitors to Rio.
Government initiatives are aiming to tackle prejudice with vocational courses for transvestites, anti-bullying projects aimed at gay and lesbian students, and new legislation outlawing discrimination in the city’s nightclubs. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro also set up a special diversity secretariat for the city, which is headed by gay fashion designer Carlos Tufvesson.
‘Personally, I think that anyone who wants to make money could open any kind of gay establishment in Rio, because it is a dead-cert return,’ says Tufvesson. ‘There is a big demand for this market: Rio is part of the gay calendar.’
In the Anarconomy Decade, there are new opportunities for brands, as governments focus on becoming more liberal and attractive to visitors.