A new wholesaler, believed to be the first in Australia dedicated to gay travellers, is looking to build a network of up to 200 “gay friendly” travel agents to promote and sell its product.
Gay Globe, launched last night in the Penthouse suite of The Diamant Hotel in Sydney’s Kings Cross, is the new wholesale arm of Out Travel, a travel agency created five years ago by ex-Flight Centre state sales manager Reece Farmilo.
Product on the Gay Globe website includes 120 small group tours around the world, all run by operators specialising in gay travel. Tours feature cycling in Tuscany, trekking in Nepal and sightseeing in Egypt while Mardi Gras packages will also be sold to the international and domestic market.
Farmilo claimed Gay Globe is the first wholesaler in Australia to cater specifically for the gay market and possibly the first globally.
Around 60 agents from across the country are already listed on its website with Farmilo keen to expand the network.
Retailers from all the major groups are represented, he said.
“I would like to get to a point where we have between 100 and 200 agents selling the product,” Farmilo told Travel Today, adding that he was keen for Gay Globe to operate its own tours in future.
Most agents who cater for the gay and lesbian community tend to be located in a gay area, are gay themselves or have friends or links to the community.
But many other retailers “don’t know what to do” when faced with a gay couple, which is where Gay Globe can help, he explained.
While some gays and lesbians are comfortable travelling on a mainstream tour, others are less so and like travelling with like-minded people, Farmilo said.
“They avoid all the usual questions about family and kids which some people find awkward. I am comfortable travelling with anyone because I am comfortable with my sexuality, but not everyone is like that”.
Farmilo said the gay market is a lucrative one with Australia’s estimated 580,000 gay community having a buyer power of $20 billion.
They have a high disposable income, generally have no kids and are more likely to spend big on luxury items, including travel.