In 2010, of the five million tourists housed in Argentina, 17.8% belonged to the LGTB (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals) community. Buenos Aires, followed by Mendoza, are the most gay-friendly destinations.
As regards Mendoza, it is attractive due to the diversity of activities and well-qualified staff, being the most chosen options those related to wine tourism.
This reality is an opportunity very interesting, taking in mind that gay tourists are potential customers, since they do not have a family to maintain and their earnings are used for leisure, entertainment, pleasure, culture and education.
The Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CCGLAR) carried out a research to know this segment’s tastes and trends. One data revealed is that wine results to be their favorite drink.
Therefore, they spend more money in travelling. According to Pablo de Luca, president and founder of Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of Argentina (CCGLAR), the daily average expenditure is USD 200 while in the case of heterosexuals is USD 120. Likewise, as regards gay tourists, their stay is longer (about 12 days), whereas heterosexuals stay an average period of 7 days. Moreover, the latter group travels approximately twice a year while gays travel 6 or 7 times a year.
Besides, another positive data is that the large percentage of Argentina’s gay wine tourism is represented by foreigners, mainly from Brazil, United States and Europe.
Due to this fact, there are not only travel agencies 100% devoted to gays, but also wineries offering special tours and alternatives for this public.
In this sense, from different wineries it was highlighted that all tour options are the same, but the difference lies in the manners and training of the staff who receive gay visitors. Basing on this, a place could be referred to as “gay friendly.”
An example of this is Trapiche winery which, according to Gastón Re, Tourism Manager, has started to receive gay tourists and offer them special alternatives. “Generally, this public is more cultured, has visited more places around the world and knows more about wine. For that reason, when gay tourists have visited the winery, they have been received by trained staff, and at that moment, we have offered them private tastings, including different wine lines without the traditional tour of the winery.”
Celina Bertoni, in charge of tourism at Renacer, explained that they do not offer a special tour for this public, but she added: “gay tourists are more sophisticated and perfectionist when they choose tourism services, so we have to take this fact in mind at the moment of receiving them at the winery.”
Finally, Clos de Chacras’s staff underlined that they have noticed differences, “gay tourists are well disposed to learn. They know more about wine and they are much more demanding”.