In a significant acknowledgment of its dedication to LGBTQ+ tourism, the island of Gran Canaria was bestowed with the prestigious Fitur LGBT+ Award at the Fitur 2024 International Fair. The accolade, received by Carlos Álamo, the Island Tourism Minister, during the opening of the LGBTi segment, shines a light on Gran Canaria’s long-standing and impactful commitment to this vital sector.
Gran Canaria’s Journey to LGBTQ+ Inclusivity
For over four decades, Gran Canaria has been at the forefront of embracing and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. This journey is marked by significant milestones that have not only enhanced the island’s appeal but have also entrenched its position as a beacon of inclusivity and diversity in Europe. A prime example of this commitment is the Yumbo Centre, established in 1982. As the only LGBTQIA commercial, civic, and leisure centre in Europe, Yumbo has evolved into a vital cultural hub, offering a welcoming space for both locals and visitors alike, and positioning itself as a crucial reference in LGBTQ+ culture across the continent.
Maspalomas Pride Gran Canaria: A Celebration of Diversity
In 2002, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Playa del Ingles (GLAY) founded Maspalomas Pride Gran Canaria, a move that would further bolster the island’s reputation as a global LGBTQ+ destination. This annual event, characterized by its vibrant parades, concerts, and a plethora of activities, not only celebrates diversity but also highlights Gran Canaria’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment for all. GLAY, in a recent statement, expressed their profound honor and pride in contributing to this transformative journey. “Being part of Gran Canaria’s evolution into a premier LGBTQ+ destination has been a remarkable journey, and we are thrilled to see our collective efforts recognized on such a prestigious platform,” a spokesperson for GLAY stated.
Recognition of GLAY’s Contributions: The Roque Nublo Award
In 2016, GLAY’s tireless efforts and significant contributions to the Cabildo and LGBTQIA tourism were recognized with the Roque Nublo award. This accolade, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Cabildo, underscores the association’s pivotal role in promoting inclusivity and diversity on the island. “Receiving the Roque Nublo award was a momentous occasion for GLAY. It reaffirmed our commitment to fostering an environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone feels welcomed,” the spokesperson added.
Minister Álamo’s Gratitude and Vision for the Future
In his acceptance speech, Minister Álamo expressed his gratitude for the award and reflected on Gran Canaria’s enduring relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. “This award is not just a recognition of our past efforts but a reminder of the responsibility we carry forward,” Álamo said. He emphasized the island’s comprehensive approach to LGBTQ+ tourism, highlighting its climate, landscapes, and diverse accommodation options as key factors in its appeal.
Álamo further acknowledged the vital role that the LGBTQ+ community has played in the island’s tourism sector, especially during challenging periods such as the recovery after the 2008 crisis. “Gran Canaria has always stood by the LGBTQ+ community, and in return, we have seen unwavering support and loyalty that have been instrumental in our growth as a top global destination,” he remarked.
A Collaborative Effort Recognized
The award presentation, conducted by Juan Martín Boll and Nano García of the JN Global Project, was attended by notable figures, including Spain’s Tourism Minister Jordi Hereu Boher and representatives from Madrid’s tourism sector. The event symbolized a collaborative effort between various stakeholders in promoting and supporting LGBTQ+ tourism on the island.
GLAY’s Message of Inclusivity and Hope
In their statement, GLAY extended congratulations to the Cabildo and the people of Gran Canaria, emphasizing the collective effort that has led to this moment of pride. “This award is a testament to the collaborative spirit of Gran Canaria. Together, we have created a destination that is not only beautiful and welcoming but also a symbol of hope and inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community worldwide,” the spokesperson concluded.
Gran Canaria’s Legacy and Future
As Gran Canaria continues to evolve and embrace its role as a leader in LGBTQ+ tourism, the island stands as a shining example of how destinations can create a welcoming and inclusive environment. The Fitur LGBT+ Award is not just a recognition of the past but a beacon guiding the island towards a future where diversity, inclusivity, and acceptance remain at the heart of its identity.