The hotel business seems to get more and more aware of the gay public. Major companies in the travel industry have aligned themselves with gay tourism campaigns. Gay hotels offer the opportunity to socialize with other gays, and the feeling that one can relax safely among other gay people.
Often gay-owned or managed, gay hotels have permissive or liberal attitudes towards gays and feature a prominent gay infrastructure (bars, businesses, restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, media, organisations, etc.). Gay travel destinations are usually large cities, Amsterdam being the most famous place in Europe. This old city with historic houses is considered to be "gay-friendly". Amsterdam has a lot of gay hotels, and it is illegal for any hotel in Amsterdam to refuse a gay couple. Other popular destinations in Europe include Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Ibiza, London, Munich and Paris. But the most important source of gay and lesbian tourists is the U.S. market. North America has numerous gay-friendly locations. Philadelphia is running the USA's largest gay tourism marketing campaign "Get your history straight and your nightlife gay".
Other popular gay tourism places are gay neighborhoods, or gay villages. Such areas represent gay-friendly oases in otherwise hostile cities, or simply have high concentrations of gay residents or businesses. They contain a number of gay-oriented establishments, such as gay hotels, bars, pubs, nightclubs, bathhouses, restaurants, bookstores, and other businesses. Manhattan is the site of gay villages Christopher Street, the birthplace of the gay liberation movement, Greenwich Village and Chelsea. Vancouver is the site of gay village Davie Village, home of Davie Street Festival which is held in conjunction with Vancouver's annual Gay Pride Parade. Gay tourism often coincide with special gay events such as annual gay pride parades, gay neighborhood festivals and such gay community gatherings as gay chorus festivals and concerts, gay square dancing conventions, gay sports meets like Gay Games, World Outgames or Eurogames and conferences of national and international gay organisations. Manhattan holds enormous annual gay pride parade. Chicago has large gay pride parade in June, gay neighborhood festival in August and hosts Gay Games in summer 2006. san Francisco has an enormous gay pride parade in June and such world-famous street festivals as the Folsom Street Fair, the Castro Street Fair and the Halloween festivities in the Castro. The Castro is the street in San Francisco, which is best known for being the heart of San Francisco's gay community. Mexican coastal city Cancun holds annual Cancun International Gay Festival in May. Travel analysts state that the existence of a core gay friendly population is often the primary catalyst for the development of gay hotels. According to Tourism Intelligence International, some 10% of international tourists are gay or lesbians, accounting for more than 70 million arrivals worldwide. This important market segment is expected to continue to grow as a result of a change in a world-wide attitude to homosexuality. American gay and lesbian tourists are estimated to generate $54.1 bn a year - about 10% of the total US travel industry. Travel companies have become aware of the substantial money produced by this marketing niche, and have started to introduce new gay tourism campaigns.