2 Greeks changed the world’s view on gay travel websites

Nikos and Zenios decided to create a modern gay travel website which would not only recommend gay-friendly hotels, but also satisfy the specific needs of queer people while on the road, because this is something nobody has done before and it might work out both for social and commercial reasons. In his constant effort towards this goal, Nikos S. Morantis, CEO at Travel by Interest, has held a groundbreaking scientific research to explore the actual needs of gay and lesbian tourists and Zenios Zeniou, Travel by Interest’s co-founder and Creative Director, redesigned an initial website to make the platform more personalized and customer-focused. Nik0os told GSN that being an ethnic Greek helped him a lot – first of all because Greece is a birthplace of LGBT culture and second of all because tourism has always been the most important part of this country’s economy – Greeks always knew how to make business on tourists. But he disliked the idea of viewing gay tourists as a source of money and emphasized that on his website people are seeking for mutual benefits – yes, hotel owners need money, but only clients are able to give it to them, and they won’t do it if they are not treated with the necessary respect. Promoting LGBT acceptance is an important part of it, Zenios adds. Greece is surprisingly LGBT-friendly, but there is still some wo0rk to be done in this direction, so one of the first steps was to hold special trainings of LGBT acceptance for the staff of the hotels. They almost did not face homophobia during such trainings, though there were certain issues (for example, transgender rights) that seemed rather problematic at the very beginning, but they tried very hard to eliminate any controversy. The level of acceptance varied from country to country – what was easy to understand, for example, for Thai hotel owners, was out of minds of ones at conservative Bali or Maldives. “For almost every destination, we have created a special hotel collection with the top gay-friendly hotels – also including major destinations like Mykonos, Bangkok & Lisbon. In the meantime, we are also creating special gay travel guides for major destinations around the world, informing about their gay-friendly attitude and gay nightlife,” Nikos said of their website, “Moreover, gay travelers can find more gay-targeted hotel collections, like the best gay-only hotels in the world, or gay-friendly hotels for honeymoons. Almost all hotels confirm their open mentality through their photos, showing single men or even male couples. Each hotel profile is also enriched with gay-popular places nearby, while our TBI Blog special Gay Section features many fascinating gay articles about gay nightlife, gay beaches, etc.” They still consider LGBT traveler4s their target audience an d plan some LGBT-related updates such as wedding locations, but still, they work for all people to make traveling more copmfortable