New Czech gay-friendly holiday brochure only third on European market

19-03-2010

Traveling has just become a lot more convenient for Czech gays and lesbians. A new holiday brochure provides an alternative to lengthy internet research to find a place to stay that is gay-friendly. The “Pink Go!” brochure boasts gay-friendly hotels, cruises catering to homosexuals and even gay-only accommodation. Sarah Borufka has the story.

Since Tuesday, the Czech Republic is one of only three European countries where a holiday brochure specifically designed for gays and lesbians is on the market. ESO Travel’s new project “Pink Go!” caters to gays and lesbians and offers travelers cruises, packages, trips for singles and weekend vacations in European cities.

Tomio Okamura (right), photo: CTKTomio Okamura (right), photo: CTK Hynek Špinar is the director of marketing for ESO Travel.

“We wanted to introduce Czech gays to special services and special accommodation orientated towards the gay minority worldwide. These are places that declare themselves gay friendly or gay-only, so in our brochure you can primarily find those kinds of places that cater to the gay lifestyle.”

While the travel agency was even able to find gay-friendly hotels in some Muslim and deeply Catholic countries, the brochure does not boast any Czech locations yet.

“We can say that there are no hotels or guest houses in the Czech Republic that were ready to clearly declare their gay friendliness or approach to this minority. So I think that this project may inspire other service providers within the Czech Republic and we think that definitely in the next brochure we will be able to include some wellness facilities that will be willing to label themselves a gay-friendly destination.”

For now, the Czech gay population can choose from “Pink Go!” destinations in 30 countries and four continents, ranging from known gay-friendly destinations such as Ibiza to China, were homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1997.

Tomio Okamura, spokesperson for the Association of Czech Travel Agencies, believes that the new brochure will be very helpful to homosexual travelers.

“The most difficult thing for members of this minority when it comes to traveling is finding a gay-friendly hotel, which can be very hard. Even if you look on the internet, it is not that easy to do. If gay travelers choose these packages, it will be not only more convenient but also cheaper, because travel agencies enjoy discounts with hotels.”

Hynek Špinar of ESO travel believes that the new brochure is also a clever marketing move.

“There was this potential for several years and it was just a matter of time that someone picked up the opportunity. We think within a few months to years, there will be some followers. We know that our brochures and products are an inspiration for our competitors and we expect the same with this gay and lesbian product.”

The creators of "Pink Go!" say they are already working on a second catalogue featuring winter destinations.

19-03-2010