Now, Mardi Gras is styled, at least in part, in a international gay and lesbian tourism sector that wants a larger and better parade every year.
It is improbable that any of these epic people caught up in the brutal riot on the night of 24 June, 1978 could have experienced much of an inkling that Mardi Gras could turn into one of the planet’s most spectacular and enduring gay pride parades.
Nor would they’ve probably imagined the parade and the festival could bring in tens of thousands of tourists from around Australia and the world making it among the most attended yearly happening special events from the nation.
From the late 1970s gays and lesbians were also a marginalised and oppressed community fighting for legislation reform and societal approval.
We’re still a few years or so off from turning into a recognisable market segment to become targeted by businesses promoting top-shelf alcohol, boutique vacations and hair remover.
Nevertheless within a bit more than a decade after the 1978 riot, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival and Parade nourished the development of a budding gay and lesbian tourism business, paralleling the development of this homosexual consumer.
Mardi Gras has played a important role in the development of Australia, and, specifically, Sydney, within an internationally recognized homosexual and lesbian tourist destination.
The Way The Festival Motivated Others
In 1999, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Ltd, that was the thing organising the festival in the moment, launched its very own gay and lesbian travel bureau Mardi Gras Travel.
This development, though short lived, however strengthened the occasionally contradictory link between Mardi Gras as a grassroots community festival along with the tourism sector with its own commercial preoccupations.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation report on LGBT tourism clarifies the market as strong and resilient, including comparatively cashed up customers with deep pockets and a powerful urge to travel. And that prefer to party.
A study by the early 1990s estimated that the financial effect of Mardi Gras to Sydney to become approximately A$30 million.
These hallmark festivals and events are strong drivers for LGBT tourism. LGBT destinations are connected internationally by a comprehensive calendar which includes over 1,000 pride events, film festivals, film festivals, circuit-parties, International Gay Games, along with the Gay Day occurrence.
That is really where gays, lesbians and their friends descend on theme parks, the biggest being GayDayS Orlando that’s currently a seven day holiday experience bringing roughly 180,000 participants.
Festivals and events may also be important tools in regional community and economic growth. If professionally handled, festivals bring large numbers of LGBT visitors to rural and regional areas, injecting extra income to the regional economies.
The achievement of Mardi Gras as a clearly Australian LGBT festival has spawned similar, if smaller festivals, even in the majority of Australia’s capital cities and a selection of regional areas too.
In reality, it appears nearly all tourist lodging has sold out there for early September, once the Heel festival happens.
The increase of peer lodging lodging platforms, for example Airbnb, along with the gay men’s equal, misterb&b, diversify lodging alternatives, further raising the appeal of those regional areas into LGBT travellers.
Simultaneously, defiant and celebratory, the parade and the festival which has grown up around it’s been critical in shaping and reshaping connections involving the LGBTQI community and the wider Australian community.
The demonstration of Mardi Gras, also of LGBT tourism, to contribute greatly to the country’s market I believe has been a helpful approach to progress political and social approval of the LGBT community.
However, Mardi Gras leads far beyond economic advantage and the societal, cultural and cultural influences have been hugely significant in the building of LGBT identities in Australia.