101.7 FM IN GENEVA DAB+, CABLE & SATELLITE ACROSS SWITZERLAND
If you’re in the travel business, the International Tourism Fair in Berlin is the place to be.
And if you just got done launching your new business for “the first hotel ‘brand’ for gay and lesbian travelers” then you definitely want to be there.
PEDRO CASTRO: Just after the show, after the press conference, when going back to the hotel I had requests from ten hotels waiting, actually, in my email inbox.
Pedro Castro is the head of Attitude Hotels. He’s in Berlin for the weeklong convention.
His Zurich company signs up hotels from around the world, inspects them and then markets them to gay and lesbian travelers.
Hotels pay a fee to join and pay when a person books through his site.
It’s about economics or perceived economics, that is. With the world anticipating a continued economic slowdown, who will keep traveling and spending?
CASTRO: It is very obvious that gays have more disposable income and more time. More time, because most of them don’t have children, meaning they can travel in colder periods. They don’t have to wait for school vacations. More disposable income—it doesn’t always mean that they earn more money—it just means that the money they dedicate for traveling is a lot higher, whatever their salary is.
According to Community Marketing, a gay and lesbian market research firm, 77 per cent of travelers for this group book trips on the internet. So Castro says the billion-dollar industry needs a hub of information.
So what specifically do gay and lesbian travelers look for?
CASTRO: When we travel we obviously look for places where we are not discriminated, that people don’t act strange, that people are respectful and most of all we want to have information that is specifically targeted to us.
As for signing up hotels, Castro says some are hesitating, not because they don’t want travelers with alternative lifestyles, but because they want to see if his start-up business will take off.
Attitude has 27 hotels registered, but Castro says it is just the beginning. He is shooting for 100 by the end of the year.
Alex Helmick, World Radio Switzerland.