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Destinations

Which are the gay travel hot spots?

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

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Need some inspiration for your travel plans?

We ran a survey of Mainly Male readers to ask gay men about their expeditions and adventures.

108 guys responded to our survey.

Here’s what they told us.

When you go on vacation, who do you generally travel with?

  • By myself: 23%
  • With a partner: 49%
  • With friends: 14%
  • With family: 11%
  • I don’t travel: 3%

Which is your favourite type of vacation?

  • Beach: 23%
  • Somewhere warm: 15%
  • Winter sports: 3%
  • City-break: 12%
  • Something active or outdoorsy: 9%
  • Something cultural: 16%
  • Something relaxing: 22%

“Some holidays that have been the best of times start with staying at a B&B and being able to go sky diving, canoeing, and a range of outdoor activities, then relaxing at night in a warm house and great dinner and bed.” — anonymous survey respondent

“Combination of someplace warm where we can explore and then have a few down days to relax on the beach.” — anonymous survey respondent

“Tend to do a mix — city to party, relax, somewhere warm, cultural, and active. Our trip this year is San Francisco to party, relax on boat travelling up the west coast, Napa, hike in the red wood forest, and Palm Springs.” — anonymous survey respondent

“Cruise!” — anonymous survey respondent

When you’re on vacation, are you interested in checking out gay bars, venues, or events?

  • Yes: 62%
  • No: 14%
  • It depends who I’m with: 24%

When you’re on vacation, are you interested in staying in a gay-friendly hotel or accommodation?

  • Yes: 58%
  • No: 19%
  • It depends who I’m with: 23%

Which destinations are at the top of your travel wish-list?

  • Responses to this question weren’t particularly cut and dried, as people listed both countries and specific cities in their answers — in some cases respondents listed entire continents. We’ve manually reviewed the answers to draw together the common themes.
  • Spain featured prominently on the wish-list of a lot of our respondents. When we include beach-side destinations such as Sitges, Ibiza, and Gran Canaria, 8% of respondents had Spain on their wish-list
  • Italy polled strongly, with 4% of respondents reporting that Italy was on their wish-list. As did Australia, and Germany — both of these destinations also appeared on the travel wish-list of 4% of respondents.
  • An additional 4% of respondents simply nominated Europe as being on their wish-list, which would translate to further interest in destinations such as Spain, Italy, and Germany.
  • Iceland polled strongly — featuring on the travel wish-list of 3% of survey respondents.
  • Other destinations that respondents had high on their wish-list included New York City, Greece, Mexico, London, South America, France, Chicago, Japan, New Zealand, and San Francisco.
  • Key take-out: Australia, Iceland, and European destinations are at the top of mind for gay travellers. When it comes to the US, gay travellers tend to focus on the specific cities that they want to visit, such as New York City and San Francisco.

Which destination will you be going to for your next vacation?

  • Looking at the specific destinations that respondents reported, the big winner was Paris — however it’s clear that this was influenced by the timing of the survey. Respondents were completing the survey just ahead of the Gay Games hosted by Paris.
  • When we look at the results at a country level, somewhere in the United States was where a large proportion (21%) of respondents were spending their next vacation — most of this seemed to be fuelled by domestic travel. Australia (9%)is a popular destination for gay travellers, as is Spain (12%) and Italy (8%).
  • Key take-out: Like all travel, there are seasonal factors that influence the choices of gay travellers — for example, the beach resorts of Spain are popular in Summer. What we’d perhaps underestimated is how event-driven travel is a big factor in the choices being made by gay men.

Where do you get your travel inspirations?

  • Friends and family: 29%
  • Personal research: 49%
  • Travel articles or features: 19%
  • Advertising: 3%

“A lot of it depends on price as well, I use Skyscanner and see what cheap flights are available so if there’s a cheap flight to be taken advantage of, then why not?” — anonymous survey respondent
“I also love to read about history, so that too give me ideas about travelling.” — anonymous survey respondent

Key take-outs

  • Gay travellers are influenced by seasonal and event-driven considerations when planning their vacation destinations. Although winter sports options seem to be fairly low on the priority list.
  • European destinations are popular with gay travellers, as well as destinations such as Australia, Iceland, and North American cities such as San Francisco and New York City.
  • We were surprised by the number of gay men who reported that they generally travel by themselves — 23% of respondents.
  • Gay travellers are interested in staying in accommodation that demonstrates that it is gay-friendly.
  • On vacation, gay travellers are interested in experiencing the local gay nightlife of bars, clubs, and venues.
  • The most effective way to draw a gay traveller’s attention to a specific destination is to help them feel that it’s their idea. In sci-fi terms, it’s inception — supporting the initial ‘discovery’ with positive reinforcement from friends and family, travel articles, and advertising.

Travel Tuesday

Every Tuesday we take a look at a destination or experience that you might want to consider adding to your travel wish-list. Here’s some of our recent Travel Tuesday features:

An airstream adventure across California

Travel Tips: Cancún, Mexico

Travel Tuesday: Faro and Algarve

Travel Tuesday: South West France

Survey Methodology

  • The survey was conducted across a four-week period in July 2018.
  • Respondents were recruited via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. No incentives were offered for respondents to complete the survey.
  • We used Survey Monkey to collect the survey responses, and then analysed the results manually
  • Comments from respondents were captured during the survey process.

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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Destinations

Travel Tuesday: South West France

Should you be adding this destination to your travel wish-list?

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Biarritz, France (image published via Pixabay)
Biarritz, France (image published via Pixabay)

By Lionel Hierso — LH Travel Designer
In today’s Travel Tuesday destination guide, we take a look at the South West region of France.

When to go
The South of France is a region where you can go all year long. From the ocean to the inland, you can really enjoy discovering this amazing part of France.

Dating
The main cities of this region are Bordeaux, Toulouse, Bayonne, Carcassone, Arcachon, Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz, Albi, Hossegor, Pau, Anglet, and Montauban. All of these main cities are gay friendly, and you can easily find gay bars, saunas, night clubs, cruising, restaurants, and naturist beaches.

This region also has one of France’s only gay hotels — Le Stelsia is a stunning resort in the Lot et Garonne area. Perfect for a romantic mini-break.

Accommodation
One of the main place to visit the south oust of France is the Lot et Garonne, not far from Bordeaux and Toulouse. I recommend to stay at the stunning gay-friendly hotel Le Stelsia. You can have a stunning double room including breakfast with access to the spa, swimming pool and two amazing restaurants including Michelin star gastronomic cuisine.

I can also recommend The Radisson and l’hotel du Palais in Biarritz, a stunning city close to the Spanish border.

All the hotels in this region are gay friendly.

Food
All over France you can find very good food, but especially in the south west region.

Here are the top 10 traditional food of the region.

  • Fois gras
  • Salade du sud oust
  • Le jambon de Bayonne
  • Le Pate de pomme de terre (potato pie)
  • Les truffes (very rare mushrooms)
  • Magert de Canard (duck speciality)
  • La piperade (marinated chicken with tomato sauce)
  • La garbure landaise (duck with potatoes and vegetables)
  • Axoa (mince marinated in tomato sauce and potato cake)
  • La lamproie a la bordelaise (local fish with jambon de Bayonne and chocolate)

You can ask for these specialities in all local restaurants

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🥘🍽️✔️Calories: 525 kcal P: 38g – G: 48g – L: 20g 🏋️🧘👙 ~ Taboulé sucré/salé de magret de canard ~ Ingrédients : 100g de magret de canard, 40g de semoule de blé (en cru), 20g de pois chiches, 5 tomates cerises, 1 datte, 10g d'amandes effilées grillées, 1 carré frais, 1 càs d'huile d'olive, 1càs de vinaigre balsamique, 1 càc de miel, du basilic. ~ Je dispose ma semoule dans un plat et je verse 60 ml d'eau bouillante additionnée de sel sur ma semoule. Je la couvre d'un torchon humide et je la laisse gonfler 15 min. Je quadrille la peau de mon magret de canard et je le cuis à la poêle, d'abord côté peau puis ensuite de l'autre côté. Je prépare l'assaisonnement de mon taboulé : je coupe mes tomates cerises en deux, je les place dans un ramequin avec l'huile d'olive, le vinaigre balsamique et le miel. Je cuis 1 min au micro-ondes et je verse sur ma semoule. J'ajoute la datte coupée en petits morceaux, les pois chiches et le basilic ciselé. Je mélange bien mon taboulé et je le parsème d'amandes effilées grillées à la poêle et du carré frais. Je sers mon taboulé, bien frais, avec le magret de canard 😋. Je sais pas vous, mais j'adore le sucré salé ! Cette recette a éveillé toutes mes papilles !! 😍😊 _________________________ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . Partagez moi aussi vos bonnes recettes saines et gourmandes et faites en profiter tout le monde avec le #ladietetiquerie 😉. . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _________________________ Consultations diététiques à votre domicile & préparation de vos repas, analyses de vos habitudes alimentaires & programmes nutritionnels personnalisés, coaching à distance. _________________________ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ .

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What to do

  • Mini cruises (standard or private)
  • Water sports
  • Wine and cheese tasting
  • Naturists sites (Les Manoques, Le Clos Barrat, Domaine Laborde)
  • Food tours and cuisine courses
  • Water and theme parks
  • Visit stunning monuments and castles
  • Visit the most famous vineyards
  • Surfing
  • Skiing
  • Bike rides
  • Horse rides

Contact Lionel Hierso — LH Travel Designer to start planning your next expedition or email [email protected]

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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