The travel sector is jazzing up its offer for gay tourists, who tend to spend more than most when away from home, taking it beyond parties in sunny hubs like Ibiza.

The trend was underscored at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid, one of the world’s largest, which wraps up on Sunday, where tourism boards plugged cultural attractions and nature activities to this market.

Spain’s western region of Extremadura for example featured posters promoting annual gay pride festivities in the city of Badajoz which began in response to homophobic comments made by a local politician.

But it also promoted bird watching trips, local architecture and rural tourism to gay and lesbian travellers at a special section of the fair dedicated to the market segment.

The goal is to appeal to the growing number of gay and lesbian couples who are having children, said Hugo Alonso of the Extremadura’s tourism promotion agency at the fair.

“We are interested in volume,” he said. Gay and lesbians make up around 10 percent of all tourists, he said.But for most destinations this segment is attractive because gays travel all year round since they are rarely tied down by school holidays, and spend more on trips.”The have more disposable […]