Wednesday, January 06, 2010
The Spanish hotelier Axel Hotels will carry its gay hotel chain to New York City in 2011.
Axel currently operates "hetero-friendly" hotels in Barcelona, Berlin and Buenos Aires, considered the gay capital of South America. Visitors can choose between the typical "do not disturb" sign or the more risky "please disturb."
Renate Siebenhofer, development director of the hotel chain, confirmed the group's plans to open its fourth five-star hotel in the U.S.
"We are pleased to inform you that we have been able to identify a site in New York we consider spot-on for our group: The AXEL HOTEL NEW YORK will be located in Hell's Kitchen and is slated to open its doors to the public in spring 2011," Siebenhofer said.
New York City is increasingly courting the gay travel dollar.
Last year, in a marketing effort titled Rainbow Pilgrimage Campaign, the city spent $1.9 million to promote the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The riots, which took place in Greenwich Village, are often credited for sparking the modern gay rights movement when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, mostly drag queens, rebelled against police harassment in 1969. Rioters violently fought back against officers over the curse of several days.
Officials say an estimated 10 percent of the city's 47 million visitors in 2008 were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
The hotel chain's ambitious plans include three additional U.S. hotels to be built in its most gay-friendly cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
Amsterdam, London Paris and Miami are considered high priority projects, according to internal documents.
The gay and lesbian tourism market is red hot due in part to the fact that gays on average travel more often and spend more. A 2006 study by the U.S. Travel Association found that gay men spend an average of $260 more per trip than their straight counterparts.