Amsterdam gears up for Gay Pride

Gay tourists spend almost 30% more on a trip to Amsterdam than other visitors, reports Friday’s NRC.Next as the capital gears up for its annual Gay Pride parade this weekend.

According to figures from Amsterdam’s tourism bureau ATCB, homosexuals spend €142 a day, compared to the overall average of €138 and stay in the city for five rather than four nights.
The biggest number of gay tourists are from the US (24%) and Britain (22%), reports NRC.Next.
But Amsterdam is no longer the gay capital of the world, says to the paper. Cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, Madrid, Paris, London and even Cape Town are gaining in popularity it says.
It points out that only one-third of the travel agents in a survey carried out by the Inholland college in 2006 named Amsterdam as the gay capital of the world.
Part of the problem is increasing intolerance against homosexuals in Amsterdam, reports the NRC.Next.
As in previous years, the Gay Pride parade will see hundreds of boats forming a colourful flotilla through the city’s Prinsengracht canal on Saturday.
The theme of this year’s Gay Pride event is ‘Religion, hope and love’. As in past year the organisers expect it to attract around 350,000 spectators.
Earlier this week a number of prominent Labour ministers and Amsterdam’s Labour mayor Job Cohen confirmed they will take part in the Gay Pride parade in a show of solidarity against discrimination against homosexuals.
The Christian Democrat prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende and family minister André Rouvoet of the orthodox Christian ChristenUnie party turned down an invitation to join the event.
And for the first time, financial services group ING is the main sponsor of the event this year, says NRC.Next. Other companies taking part are post and express delivery firm TNT, ABN Amro bank and energy concern Shell.
Click here for further information on Gay Pride, including a full programme of events.

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