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LGBT Tourism: Switzerland Can Do It Better

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of November 16, 2018) Swiss tourism magazine Gastro Journal dedicates an article to LGBT tourism in Switzerland in its issue of 8 November 2018. It’s about good prospects, but it’s also about regrettable shortcomings. Although tolerant and neutral Switzerland was certainly a refuge for the LGBT community during the Second World War, the cantonal and national administrations no longer propose courageous solutions

Switzerland: In winter, magnificent landscapes and a dream environment in a very heteronormative environment.

The foreign LGBT community usually only knows Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne as the most gay-friendly in Switzerland. Geneva and Zurich are also members of the Rainbow Cities Network.

Two cities have a special commitment to the LGBT community and tourists. For example, Zurich is the only Swiss city whose municipal website has a special section for questions and answers from LGBT people.

The other municipality is Arosa, where the Arosa Gay Ski Week has been held every January since 2005 under the direction of Alexandre Herkommer. The next edition will take place from January 19 to 26, 2019 in Graubünden.

What do you do in Arosa besides skiing? A lot of things, as this official video shows:

Some companies address LGBT people by calling themselves hetero-friendly, or vice versa. However, most of these are located in a favourable environment, such as the LGBT centres in Lausanne or the Waldhotel National, a four-star hotel in Arosa.

The number of stars is proportional to the supposedly high purchasing power of LGBT tourists. This clientele tends to have more money available for leisure and travel, because there are usually no children to care for. In part, however, this may also be a cliché. LGBT clients in general and the Swiss in particular, on the other hand, are very demanding in terms of safety and security: gays and lesbians naturally prefer places where their sexual orientation does not cause any problems or even conflicts.

Zurich train station

Zurich, an LGBT-friendly city. ©stadt-zuerich.ch

In an interview with Gastro Journal, Suisse Tourisme spokeswoman Véronique Kanel confirms that the company “does not make any offers specifically aimed at this LGBT community”. However, “it is quite possible that we coopeerate with platforms for community members”.

Suisse Tourisme launched a gay advertising campaign in 2006. However, this was a one-off initiative with no long-term objective. In other words, project managers with LGBT goals must be convincing to encourage Suisse Tourisme to work together.

Frank-S / MensGo

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