Maspalomas Gay Pride 2016 starts off this Sunday bringing along a full catalogue of updates, one of them being an increase in security measures during all events; others are the changing of route for the Big Parade and the participation of new acts and grounbreaking parties destined to attract those expected 120.000 visitors from all around the world.
So was confirmed this morning during press conference by Fernando Ilarduya, President of Freedom Association, which added that this year festivities will carry on for 15 days in celebration of the Maspalomas Gay Pride fifteenth anniversary: “First week will be devoted to cultural events such as exhibitions, book openings and workshops aimed at the awareness of the youngest in the county.From May 9 on, a wide variety of parties, such as a cowboy-themed one, will be held along with sport activities, fashion shows and night galas showcasing international talents.”. Ilarduya also commented on the importance of such an event that attracts that many LGTB tourists, resulting in 65 million Euro benefit for the island. To further prove this point, a survey at the airport will be conducted during Pride dates to check on actual travellers numbers and the money they spend over.
Ines Jimenez, Counselor of Tourism of Gran Canaria town council, Hector Suarez, Director of Tourism Infrastructures for the Canarian Government, Marco Aurelio Perez, Mayor of San Bartolome de Tirajana, and Jose Carlos Alamo, Councillor of Events, attended all the press conference. Representatives from sponsoring businesses participated at the conference too, such as David Garreth, President of the owners community in C.C.Yumbo, Francisco Moreno, from Lopesan Group Communication Department, and Sebastian Sanso, Manager of the San Roque Hospital. Ines Jimenez, Counselor of Tourism, highlighted the fact that over 400.000 LGTB visitors a year come over here, which stands up for a 12 per cent out of total numbers; “They come looking for the perfect weather, the high-quality facilities and the well-organized events in an all-around climate of respect. This is a segment of tourists which spend up to a 30 per cent more than others. Our goal, to make Gran Canaria become a destination for everybody.”, she added. Furthermore, Hector Suarez, Director of Tourism Infrastructures for the Canarian Government, commented on the canarian warm-hearted, welcoming and tolerant personality which, along with the participation of regional authorities, certainly helps into establishing this Pride as one of the most important in the world. Then it was the turn for Marco Aurelio Perez, one of the originators of the Pride celebrations back in 2002, and Mayor of San Bartolome, the place where “the craziest, funniest Pride takes place”.
This a place were everyone is welcome and made to feel at their most comfortable, no matter skin color or inner beliefs. We mean to be truly a melting pot for all. And for that matter, all public offices keep supporting and helping in its development.”. Jose Carlos Alamo, Councillor of Events, further added on the quality and importance of this year cultural events as a way to improve the awareness of our right to be treated equally. He also elaborated on the high standards of professionalism brought on by all the international artists involved in the galas. David Garreth, Prsident of the owners community in C.C.Yumbo, wanted to make a reference to the climate of tolerance that attracts proud participants to such an event. Speaking on behalf of Lopesan Group, Francisco Moreno, from their Communication Department, reminded the attendants the pioneer-like character of LGTB tourism; “They were the ones to discover Gran Canaria, and the Pride was conceived to keep them coming all year-round.
We should never forget this fact and keep working to maintain the spirit that started it all.”, he explained. Rounding off the interventions, Sebastian Sanso from San Roque Hospital assured that the best assistance will be available at all events, first class professionals and modern equipments guaranteeing the safety of all participants.