Gays and Lesbians Spend 30% More Than Mainstream Tourists In Spain

Gay and lesbians visitors contributed over $6.8 billion to the Spanish economy.

Spain has edged out France as Europe’s top LGBT destination based off of spending habits.

According to a report by LGBT Capital, gay and lesbians visitors contributed over $6.8 billion to the Spanish economy. That’s 30% more than than mainstream tourists in Spain.

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In 2005 Spain became the third European nation (and at the time the largest) to legalize gay marriage, thus no doubt bolstering incentives for gay and lesbian tourism in the decade since.

“It’s very tolerant and it’s fun,” said Fabiano Ribeiro, a 32-year-old Brazilian visiting Barcelona with two male friends told Bloomberg Business. “You hold hands and that’s no problem.”

(GERMANY OUT) Schwule und Lessben demonstrieren unter dem Motto -Nos manifestamos por quienes no pueden (Wir marschieren für diejenigen, die nicht können)- auf der LGBT Pride Parade 2014 in Madrid  (Photo by snapshot-photography/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Barcelona Pride is a huge source of that revenue stream, which attracts 71,000 during the annual 2-week event, with organizers estimating the event to generate 150 million euros ($170 million) toward the local economy.

“This is a high-income travel market that is not tied down by school holidays and is generally more adventurous,” Carlos Kytka, executive director at the Gay European Tourism Association told Bloomberg, “which works with more than 4,000 industry members, mainly hotels in Europe. “It’s easy to fill up hotels in Barcelona in summer, what makes us different is that we travel all year round and spend the money, and that keeps the cash flow going.”

The U.S. proudly remains the global leader with a whopping $21.5 billion of revenue.