Image Mexico Tourism Board
Findings from the largest ever LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) marketing study have shown Cancun to be far and away the most desirable destination in Mexico for gay travelers.
Twenty-three per cent of respondents in the LGBT 2020 study, which was conducted by consulting firm Out Now Global, said they wanted to visit Cancun in the next three years, making it nine per cent more popular than traditional rival Puerto Vallarta and seven per cent more sought after than Mexico City.
In addition to topping the list of desired Mexican locales, the resort town placed well internationally, ranking behind only Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo as the most appealing Latin American LGBT destination.
By contrast, Puerto Vallarta - the city usually considered the most gay-friendly in Mexico - failed to finish inside the top ten, while Mexico City ranked fifth.
Out Now Global chief executive Ian Johnson said that because "as many as 3.5 million visitors from the USA alone" wanted to visit Cancun in the next three years, it was vital that organizations invest in training to ensure the needs of gay travelers were met.
"Many are acutely concerned about how welcome they will feel on vacation, especially if they are traveling as a gay couple or a lesbian family," he explained.
With Mexico holding "a lot of appeal" for America's 15 million LGBT travelers, Mr Johnson also warned destinations of the "highly competitive" nature of the market, saying "to succeed requires commitment - both intellectually, and financially".
"And the rewards from doing so are great - and very financially rewarding."
Echoing Mr Johnson was LGBT Confex chief executive Ruben Sandoval, who lauded the tourism authority of Cancun for "increasing its effort and budget commitment to this valuable market".
"Puerto Vallarta by comparison has done almost nothing to try to market to gay travelers and in fact has now fallen behind Mexico City in this latest research," he added.
The Out Now survey was conducted in twelve different languages across more than twenty markets worldwide.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H