Two months ago, the top subject in the whole of Croatia was that it has become a gay-friendly hot spot!
This news was on all internet portals in the country, national television, and newspapers, and top social media platforms were also full of this step forward in pink tourism.
The author of the project, a woman who has been surrounded by gay men as her best friends for a lifetime, launched the Internet portal www.gaytravelcroatia.net, where gay tourists can find gay-friendly content, such as accommodation, gay-friendly beaches, clubs, and other points of interest to the gay population.
More than 200 items have been collected within 2 months, and in the first month, this new portal boasted 230,000 views. The most interesting thing is that gay tourists can find great ‘last minute’ discounts on the site.
Not so long ago, in the age of communism in Croatia, then under Yugoslavia, homosexuality was banned and prohibited by law. This lasted until 1991, and today people are increasingly aware of how important it is to understand diversity.
An interesting fact is that photos for the media were made on the ship, Galeb, which belonged to Communist President Tito, and that meant victory over the old system. The ship is not open for public tours or for visitors, but, the Mayor of Rijeka city thinks that this project is cool, so the Gay Travel Croatia team received a special licence for the photo-shoot, so it no surprise that Rijeka is capital of culture next year.
Today, Croatia is a state where homophobia is on the decline. Croatians are basically very gentle people. Fools exist everywhere, and so here, but in a large minority.
In Croatia, same-sex communities are legally permitted, and there are many gay weddings, “for which we have the most requests”, says author Iva Piglić Lazić. Iva says that she is only the author of the project, but in reality the whole team is important.
Iva also said:
“We have been getting a lot of inquiries about weddings from foreign tourists lately, so we decided to open a gay wedding organisation as part of our site, because our country has many beautiful locations to say [..] ‘yes’ to your partner”.
Then the avalanche started. The island of Rab first accepted it, because it has long been the first gay-friendly destination in Croatia, and has recently been called “The island of happiness” with its symbol of two hands holding, where the gender is not defined. The most interesting and most positive reaction is the city of Split, behind which was the rampage of 2011 during gay pride. Since then, 8 years have passed, and gay tourists now are very welcome.
Istria, more precisely, Rovinj and Poreč, have long been gay-friendly places, and foreign tourists have shown most interest in those cities, for gay weddings. Dubrovnik and Hvar are luxury destinations, and have no problem with the LGBT community.
“It is important to fight for equality, no one can live in fear. We must understand that diversity is welcome, and that it should be taught and enjoyed. The world would be a boring place for us all to be [the same]. Croatia is a beautiful country, and we want to be open to everyone, and to live in the world where humanity is valued, and phobias are exterminated! ”
About plans for the future, Iva Piglić Lazić points out that next year they will organise an international, full gay festival in Croatia, and they are sure to succeed.
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