Factors Influencing the Image of an Urban Tourist Destination By Gay Tourists: The Case-Study of Tel-Aviv

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 09:40
Oral Presentation
Yechezkel (Hezi) ISRAELI, Department of Tourism and Hotel Management, Kinneret Academic College, Israel
Liron SHALOM, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa, Israel
Tel Aviv is a well developed tourist destination that offers the general population of tourists a wide range of entertainments, tours and vacation possibilities. Within the general population of the tourists who visit the city, Tel-Aviv is a favorite destination for gay tourists, especially during the summer, who frequent Tel Aviv pride events that attract thousands of participants, locals and tourists. Tel Aviv is reach with entertainment and leisure sites for the gay people, including a beach that is specially assigned for their use, gay clubs and bars. In general Tel Aviv is considered as a liberal city known for its pluralistic approach toward different populations, including the local LGBT community and the gay tourists who visit in the city.

As other cities in the world, Tel Aviv also has invested resources in order to promote the gay tourism in the city, especially regarding Tel Aviv's gay parade. Yet, there are no precise figures on the number of gay tourists in Tel Aviv, their perceptions, satisfaction from the visit and the perceived image of the city.

This aim of this study was to fill the gap by examining the city's image in the eyes of the gay tourist. The study was conducted among tourists visiting Tel Aviv, at least once. Research area was the touristic center of Tel Aviv, Gay Space and was attended by 152 homosexual tourists. The tourists responded to a questionnaire containing open-ended and closed-ended questions. The research included also in-depth interviews with tourism promoters engaged in the gay tourism of Tel Aviv.

Findings show that image was improved significantly after the visit. Tel Aviv emerges as a preferred tourism destination for gay tourists, with a strong positive image of the city, despite being located in an area of unrest.