OPINION: Puerto Vallarta, a Gay Destination?

Jorge Chávez
Aug. 24, 2016

Last week’s poll about safety in visiting in Puerto Vallarta gave our readers a lot to talk about, from candid discussion about the subject at hand, to amusing remarks about our typos and grammar faux pas—what can we say, nobody is perfect!

As of today, Wednesday morning, a total of 1,418 readers chimed in with their opinion on the subject with the vast majority (94.85 %) feeling favorable about Puerto Vallarta as a safe destination. Needless to say, this doesn’t take away the fact that our city, like many others around the world, has safety issues that must be addressed by local authorities. Along the same lines, travelers should always exercise caution and common sense when visiting foreign cities, and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. As for your upcoming trip to Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit, we welcome you with open arms!

This Week’s Poll: Should Puerto Vallarta consider itself a gay friendly destination?

It must mean something when reputable publications like the New York Times conduct surveys that place Puerto Vallarta as the top “surprisingly gay friendly” gay destination in the world. The New York Times is not alone. Puerto Vallarta consistently ranks as a preferred gay friendly destination in surveys conducted by TravelChannel.com, NightTours.com, LuxeGetaways.com, Caribbean & Americas News.

In recent years, Puerto Vallarta has been lauded as an important gay friendly destination by Mexican news outlets, including renowned journalists Joaquín López Dóriga and Carmen Aristegui, Informador.mx, Reporte Indigo, México Desconocido and several others. In fact,  Puerto Vallarta is referred to as “LGBT Paradise” and a “gay-friendly destination” by its own official destination website. Riviera Nayarit’s Visitor and Convention Bureau is equally eloquent on the subject.

And yet, the self-appointed “friendliest city in the world” is not entirely gay friendly, at least, not publicly, or all the time. While gay friendly selling points are consistently taken into account by Puerto Vallarta’s Tourism Bureau, its municipal counterpart is not always as eager to cha-cha. Earlier this year, Ramón González Lomelí, who oversees Municipal Tourism Office had to retract public statements suggesting that, while the city “is friendly to them (gay folk), animals and the rest of the world,” it shouldn’t be marketed as a gay friendly destination. Even the country’s Tourism Secretariat (SECTUR) has had to deffend gay-friendly promotional efforts made in its Facebook official page.

Important revenue generating industries, such as restaurants and real estate are eager to target the LGBT community through ads placed in specialty publications, such as Gay PV and Gay Guide Vallarta. However, behind closed doors, we all have been known to frown on gay tourism, or spring breakers, or Mexican national tourists, and several other tourist segments at one point or another. And why not? We are all entitled to our own opinion.

What do you think? Does LGBT presence in Puerto Vallarta enhance or undermine the destination such that it should be acknowledged as a gay-friendly destination? Please answer our poll, bellow, and feel free to share any comments you may have. By the way, you can still participate in last week’s poll!

Image courtesy of VisitPuertoVallarta.com.


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