Aside from the gay pride, which is the yearly highlight for gay tourism in Brussels, and which takes place on 16 May, our capital boasts several clubbing events that are targeted at the gay public. According to Mr Boutry, gay clubbing brings in a total of about 5 million euros per year. The most popular event is the monthly La Demence Club happening, which stimulated 40,000 overnight stays in Brussels hotels last year. In addition, the number of gay-specific cafés is on a steady rise, right now Mr Boutry estimates it at fifteen.
Another big attraction are the sports events. Here, visit.brussels is closely working together with the Brussels Gay Sports association, or BGS in short. The multi-disciplinary Brussels Games attracted 550 participants, and 300 people partook in the champagne water polo tournament. Brussels has also managed to obtain the organisational rights for the Union Cup 2015, which is a gay rugby tournament that will be taking place in Vorst from 21 to 24 May, and for which 800 players have already signed up.
“Right now, there’s a lot of effort going into the organisation of lesbian events as well. Even though this is a slightly less financially interesting target group, visit.brussels is working just as ardently to accomodate them”, Boutry says. The tourist agency is offering lesbians special weekend deals for the contemporary art exhibition ‘Art Brussels’ in Brussels Expo in the spring, and the Brussels fashion tour in the autumn. These deals are given the name ‘Girls Heart Brussels’.