Although a predominantly Catholic country, Spain is regarded as one of the most LGBT-friendly nations in the world. According to the results of a poll recently conducted by the Pew Research Centre, focusing on the perception of topics such as marital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, premarital sex and divorce, Spain is the country with the highest percentage of acceptance of homosexuality in the world.
Surprisingly, the UK only comes fifth in the tolerance ranking, with 17% of the population casting doubts on the morality of same sex relationships.
Historically, Spain was one of the first countries leveraging the hidden potential and the positive impact that the acceptance and the protection of the LGBT community could have on the cohesion of Spanish social fabric and the enrichment of its economy.
For instance, since the legalisation of gay marriage in Spain (2005, a decade before it was legalised in the UK), the country has become the prime destination of LGBT travellers. The latter amount to 15% of the global tourism industry and appears to be particularly active in off-season.
Cities such as Madrid have managed to capitalise on the phenomenon with an astonishing €150 million generated from the Gay Pride Festival in 2016, which is expected to rise in 2017. Consequently, a host of events aimed specifically at the LGBT community proved pivotal during January’s International Tourism Fair in Madrid
According to FITUR, the tourism fair, a record 2450,000 attendees participated into their latest event. The figure also includes professionals from every corner of Spain and the world.
It could be reasonably expected that Spain will increase their investments and shift their attention even more towards the LGBT community, with many others country following soon. There are a number of European countries who appear to have reluctantly assumed an attitude of tolerance due to the European wide directives but are lukewarm, to say the least, in their approach to LGBT visitors. It would seem that to ignore the LGBT/pink euro would be an error that could cost an economy dearly and is a serious mistake for any country to make.