Los Cabos has officially been accredited as a top queer friendly destination by the LGBT+ Travel Association at Mexico’s recent tourism fair. The region was given a distinction as being welcoming to all member of the LGBT+ community and having a variety of choices for visitors.
The director of the Los Cabos Tourism Trust, Rodrigo Esponda, received the plaque on behalf of Los Cabos during the Acapulco Tourist Market, awarded by Oriol Pàmies, the founder of travel company Queer Destinations.
Los Cabos is the first destination to receive the ‘distinction’ badge from the Association. Pamies said that “We are proud to present the Queer Destinations distinction badge to Los Cabos, recognizing its commitment to excellence in the treatment of such an important sector of tourism in Mexico”.
At the 46th edition of Tianguis Turístico de México, the Mexican tourism conference, Los Cabos became the first international location to receive an award for training and sensitising tourist operators and staff to welcome the LGBT+ community in a friendly, safe and fun environment.
Receiving the award, Rodrigo Esponda said that, “We in Los Cabos celebrate this accreditation from Queer Destinations, which symbolizes our commitment to ensure the safest conditions for LGBT+ visitors in an inclusive and respectful manner during their stay”.
“LGTB+ tourism represents 16% of the total number of visitors the area receives each year, which indicates that travellers from the LGBT+ community feel safe and able to enjoy their vacation here in paradise”, he added.
The LGBT+ T/ravel Association has also advised that in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism for Mexico, 10 destinations in total will receive their accreditations by the end of 2022.
The cities which hope to be part of Queer Destinations are Guadalajara, Isla Mujeres, Mazatlán, Huatulco and Oaxaca, plus the states of Jalisco, Yucatán and Quintana Roo.
Queer Destinations provide international distinctions endorsed by the IGLTA (International LGBTQ+ Travel Association) which are awarded to destinations and companies that want to attract the LGBT+ community.
In order to be considered for the award, a training process must be completed during which the destination or company provides a signed letter of commitment. They must also be trained in welcoming LGBT+ visitors, and develop strategies and products aimed at the LGBT+ community.
It is little surprise that Los Cabos has been awarded such a distinction, as in recent years it has grown in popularity with LGBT+ travellers.
In 2019 Cabo San Lucas held a large gay pride event which was extremely popular with both locals and tourists, although the following years were postponed due to Covid-19. In 2022 Cabo San Lucas intends to host a full week of Pride events and parades, which is sure to attract many more tourists, including those visiting other areas of Mexico.
Although the LGBT+ scene tends to be fairly low-key in Los Cabos, it still manages to be well-known for having a range of great beaches, attractions and bars which are very welcoming.
Cabo San Lucas is also home to the popular Chandelier’s Night Club, which is the only gay nightclub in the area.
The award is also a positive change for Los Cabos compared to recent years, where in 2021 many LGBT+ representatives in the area complained that not enough progress was being made and there were no formal awards or acknowledgments for companies to encourage LGBT+ tourists.
The news is sure to encourage even more travellers to head to Los Cabos, which has already received more than 800,000 in the first quarter of 2022.
Queer Destinations has been working with the Los Cabos Tourism Association since last year to implement a post Covid-19 recovery plan, which is also partnered with the Hyatt, Marriot and Hard Rock hotel chains to build new resorts and facilities.