A few years ago, two Greek men (one from Greece and one from Cyprus) Nikos and Zenios decided to create a modern-day homosexual tour internet site, with the motive of helping gay travelers find the exceptional inns for their holidays. The concept changed into now not simply to endorse gay-pleasant motels & hotels, but also to assist hoteliers to recognize gay travelers’ desires, for this reason, provide a great experience to this niche market.
In his consistent attempt towards this goal, Nikos S. Moranis, CEO at Travel through Interest, has written numerous articles about the challenge. One of those is his current piece in Hotelier Academy (the main educational media for hoteliers) about How to Reach more Gay & Lesbian Travelers and has spent countless hours helping hoteliers recognize the real needs of world homosexual travelers.
The idea has constantly been to help hoteliers understand the variety of the target audience without distinguishing them from their different guests.
The mission quickly became a success amongst hoteliers around the globe. And, following its latest remodel by Zenios Zeniou, Travel by using Interest’s co-founder and Creative Director, the platform was converted from a homosexual journey directory to a primary journey website for each visitor in search of for more personalized ways to select a hotel.
But what is the tale in the back of this modification and how did those young specialists penetrate the worldwide hotelier market and speak openly approximately homosexual journey, even at conservative locations?
One month earlier than speak at GNetwork 360, one of the leading LGBTI tour conventions within the world, Nikos S. Morantis & Zenios Zeniou analyze their ‘gay business success story’, showcasing how the LGBTI community can make a difference with real talent and hard work!
First things first: how did you come up with the idea of creating a homosexual travel internet site that could assist hoteliers to talk with LGBTI vacationers?
NM: As we’re Greeks, tourism and resorts are in our DNA! When I changed into 25, homosexual journey changed into a new factor and every body changed into suffering to recognize this area of interest marketplace. However, lower back then, most people perceived the LGBTI network as a supply of quick and smooth cash.
Realizing this, we determined to put money into growing a better manner of treating gay tourists, that could not simply awareness on cash. We decided to create a channel wherein LGBTI tourists could locate useful facts and, on the identical time, hoteliers should higher recognize the gay marketplace’s wishes and improve their offerings — continually specializing in mutual blessings, each for travelers and hoteliers.
This approach which you had to talk overtly to hoteliers approximately LGBTI tour and make them apprehend our conduct. Were they open to that information or did you face discrimination and offensive responses?
ZZ: Surprisingly, the popularity of LGBTI people turned into lots higher than we ought to ever imagine. Of route, money is a great manner to encourage businessmen to listen to you, however, we usually centered on building an amazing culture for our target market, so we insisted on the offerings.
The first few years, we brought a unique schooling path to resort body of workers about LGBTI travel, earlier than recommending the belongings to the homosexual target audience. And we had been no longer just talking about the way to deal with their gay guests well, but additionally about the splendor that lies inside diversity and that as gay vacationers, we don’t require any unique remedy or carrier!
And we have been impressed, in particular with Greek hoteliers, who have been very open to listening to us and satisfied to talk and teach their personnel.
Did you ever encounter any weird behavior even as talking approximately the LGBTI community to the lodge team of workers? Were there any homophobic individuals who were now not open to what you had to say?
ZZ: We have been sincerely impressed with the training process, as people felt truly comfortable. As a rely on fact, there have been in many instances while someone from the target audience became emotional, as they shared with us some sad memories about buddies of theirs who had been nonetheless in the closet.
As for the ‘much less open’ topics, we did come across a few controversies in the direction of transgender people. And we tried surely hard to make it clean that any sort of discrimination closer to any man or woman is definitely unacceptable. The motel body of workers education generally turned into an intense discussion round human tradition, and I am pretty certain that it even helped in improving the accommodations’ whole mentality!
Regarding homophobia among hoteliers, it’s miles absolutely an unprecedented element. And sure, we did face a few silly behaviors in multiple instances, but, you may rest confident that they got just the solution they deserved.
How is Travel with the aid of Interest helpful for LGBTI tourists?
NM: Think of Travel via Interest as your satisfactory homosexual pal who has been everywhere and is always there to advocate you approximately your journeys — either you are searching for an inn to stay or a destination to go to.
For almost every vacation spot, we’ve created a unique lodge series with the top gay-friendly resorts – also such as essential locations like Mykonos, Bangkok & Lisbon. In the meantime, we also are creating special gay tour publications for primary locations around the arena, informing approximately their homosexual-friendly attitude and homosexual nightlife.
Moreover, gay tourists can find extra homosexual-centered resort collections, like the best homosexual-best lodges in the international, or gay-pleasant accommodations for honeymoons. Almost all motels affirm their open mentality through their pics, displaying single guys or even male couples. Each lodge profile is likewise enriched with gay-famous locations nearby, at the same time as our TBI Blog special Gay Section features many captivating homosexual articles approximately gay nightlife, homosexual beaches, etc.
Which nations have been the maximum hard to simply accept the reality that you represented an LGBTI tour mission?
NM: The solution is virtually no longer what you would possibly expect. Greece, Thailand, and Portugal are on the top of the listing with the friendliest motel professionals – they’re surely open to welcome LGBTI vacationers and provide them an upgraded enjoy. Staying on the bright and noticeably right facet of things, hoteliers from several conservative destinations, like Bali & Maldives, are simply open to homosexual vacationers and make an important effort to make sure that their inn grounds are safe for the LGBTI vacationers.
And because of this, when we were certain of their welcoming person, we tried to help them connect to homosexual audiences. In any case, it is nevertheless a truth that there are places in which homosexuality isn’t universal, however that doesn’t imply that homosexual tourists should no longer go to those locations as nicely — of the route, always having in mind the neighborhood state of affairs and mentality.