Where should you spend your next gay vacation?
Everyone needs a holiday now and then, but it can be hard deciding where to go. There are so many exciting locations in the world, from relaxing beaches to bustling capital cities, and it’s impossible to explore them all. For gay people, finding a holiday destination can be even harder. We have to find somewhere that’s welcoming to the LGBT+ community, somewhere that’s openminded and accommodating – and of course, a lot of fun too.
While some gay destinations are well-known, some people are looking for something a little more off the beaten track. Not everyone wants to party in Berlin or spend a fortnight on a gay cruise, but it can be difficult finding more alternative destinations. This was the thinking behind Destsetters, a website that caters for gay travellers. We had a chat with the website’s founder, Nikos Morantis, to find out where LGBT+ people are heading on their holidays and how you can find the best vacation spots, whatever type of holiday you’re looking for.
Hi Nikos. Where did the idea for Destsetters come from? What made you think it was important to give LGBT+ people their own travel website?
The idea for Destsetters started about 4 years ago, when we realized the need for personalized information, not only for LGBT travellers, but for other important niche markets as well. Specifically for gay travellers, what we realized was that in the popular website and platforms, we could only find information about the popular gay destinations around the world. This did not seem to be fair, since the world has so many more destinations to explore and, of course, gay travellers cannot be limited in travelling only to specific destinations.
Which destinations do you find are most popular for gay guys? Why do you think this is?
Let us speak mostly about the not so obvious destinations, which even without gay life, seem to be very popular to gay travellers. The island of Crete in Greece, has an amazing demand from gay travellers. The island does not have an ‘organized gay scene’, however there are many alternative things to do like visiting the unofficial – but quite popular – gay beaches. A similar situation is also noted in Sicily in Italy and the Algarve in Portugal. Among the most interesting conclusions is that the destinations of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Bali in Indonesia and the Maldives, despite the fact that they rank among the most conservative countries, are very popular to gay travellers.
Do you have any personal favourite travel destinations?
My personal favourite destinations are Greece and Thailand, as they both offer organised gay life in major destinations such as Phuket, Mykonos, Bangkok and Athens, while they also offer some unique romantic choices, like Santorini and Ko Samui.
Which countries do you find to be most LGBT friendly?
That’s a tricky question! I would say that Thailand and Spain are two of the most friendly countries. But significant progress is being made in other destinations as well, like in Greece, which is a greatly open-minded country and very friendly to the gay community. Things have become much better after the recent recognition of civil partnership among same sex couples.
How do you find places that are suitable for LGBT people?
As long as the travellers get complete, updated and trustworthy information, every place in the world is suitable for LGBT people! But each destination offers a different experience. Destsetters makes a quick overview of each destination, informing gay travellers about the level of its LGBT acceptance, emphasizing what to be aware of. After all, it is a fact that many great destinations are considered ‘homophobic’, mainly for religious reasons. However, this should not stop us from visiting them, as long as we are careful and always respect the local culture, people and customs of each country.
To find out more about Destsetters and gay travel, take a look at their website.