Airbnb.com not gay enough for you? Looking to maybe meet and play house with Mr. Right Now on your next trip. Well, a few hot Israelis have just the thing for you: Gay-ville. Gadi Tunes — one of the creators of this gaybnb — answered a few questions from NewNowNext Travel about his new site the other day.
NNN: How did you come up with this idea?
Gadi: We are four founders in Gay-ville, very good friends, and what we share is our passion for travel. We travel all the time, and wanted to travel more, and we were always trying to figure out how to do that. We also noticed that many of our friends are looking for the same things when we travel. We all go to large gay-friendly cities around the world — Berlin, Madrid, Tel Aviv, NY, Rio — and in these cities we want to stay in the gay neighborhood. We want to feel free to do what we like — we want a gay-friendly environment where we can be ourselves. We want to meet lots of people, have a great time and share our travel experience together. We don’t need to spend $500 a night on a fancy hotel to have a good time. What for? Many times we travel in groups of friends and if we can share an apartment for half the price and stay twice as long its much better, instead of everybody scattered around in different hotels. And whenever we travel we are always looking for a local to show us around and tell us where are the good places to go out to every night.
What we realized is that everyone wants it, and that today no one addresses what we and our friends want.
So we came up with Gay-ville. On our site you can plan start your whole gay travel experience. We’ll tell you what’s happening in each city, find an apartment or room in the gay area, allow you to rent out your own apartment while you are away to subsidize your trip (so your apartment pays your trip – this way you can travel more!) and give you a safe and friendly way to connect to locals and other travelers just like you.
NNN: What makes it better/different from airbnb.com?
Gadi: Whereas Airbnb addresses the entire population, we focus on what gays want. We mark the gay area, so when you choose a place to stay in the destination you are going to, you will know it is in the right area. Everybody who uses Gay-ville is by default gay-friendly (because of the name of the website…) so there are no surprises. No one wants to “get the eye” when he arrives to an apartment and the host is not gay-friendly, or have to explain why does he needs a double bed for two men. Another important thing is that if you are using a website which addresses the entire population, the chances that you will have Facebook common friends with host or guest on the other side of the world are low. In the gay community, it’s often two or three degrees of separation and if the common user in Facebook has a 130 friends (according to FB statistics), gays have hundreds and sometimes thousands. So with Gay-ville you can choose your apartment or guest in your place according to the common friends, ask them beforehand about the him. This gives a huge added value of security. We also provide all the info about top gay detonations — where to go and what to do. We are your local buddy.
NNN: What’s your favorite story about someone using your site?
Gadi: What I like the most is to hear that through Gay-ville many new friendships emerged. I knew this guy who was renting his place on Gay-ville and when I saw him on the beach he showed me his guest – he brought him over and introduced him to all his friends. I even heard of a long term relationship that started on Gay-ville…
Usually our host and guest connect very well. Especially if someone rents a room in his apartment (and not all of it), then he also becomes the local mentor and gives him insider advices about the city.
Also I was surprised by how fast it has spread. In the beginning people were a little bit reluctant about subletting the own place, but when they heard that their friends were making thousands of dollars out of it, some of them even asked me where do I suggest they move if they take a bigger place so it will be attractive to gay tourists.
NNN: What are the top five places you hope/plan to visit in 2012?
Well, this week we are in NYC, and we plan to come back here later on this year for Pride. We also plan to visit Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Berlin, SF and Miami. We throw launch parties wherever we go to, because we believe Gay-ville is all about having a good time and the fact that it is international and looks the same everywhere is what makes it powerful and useful.
We also produce funny and sexy videos once in a while, like this one: