Delhi Coming Out – Gay Party Scene in Delhi

Delhi came out and partied this Saturday night and boy, did they party hard or what!

I was invited to attend the first ever pool side party for the boys in Delhi at the freshly done up and truly five star Ramada Plaza right in the heart of the city. The gay party scene in Delhi has been shaping up beautifully over the past year or so and this Saturday night we finally came of age. The expected attendance was about 400 people and we ended up partying through the night with about 850 of them!

Now that is some serious crowd and with everyone wanting a piece of the action, the party showed no signs of ending till almost the morning hours. The pool was never short of guys who simply wanted to beat the searing Delhi heat and those who did not get in to the water were mostly dancing away.

Besides the fun part of it, the whole event was overwhelming in an emotional way. I still get asked about whether we have a ‘gay scene’ in India and till recently all that we could talk about were a few get-togethers here and there. But no more now, Delhi has truly decided to come out and party and there is no stopping us anymore. With about half a dozen night clubs in the city having dedicated gay parties every weak and now the big five star hotels welcoming us as well; Delhi is truly on its way to becoming a gay party hotspot.

Oh, and a word about the organizer; Manish is a super star! He knows the Delhi gay community better than anyone else and his organization, BoyZone is doing stellar work in making many a dreams come true.

As for us at Out Journeys, we can’t wait to get our guests to come and become a part of this amazing scene. I know I am excited and why shouldn’t I be!

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The Advent of Gay Tourism in India

So the debate that we have been having is around the sudden spurt in the number of gay travel agencies and tour operators that seem to be emerging in India. I hear about a new kid in the market place every week, either it is through a very canned press release or a spike in marketing through Google. The keywords do not differentiate between business ethics, they re just a part of the text.

Two years back, gay tours to India were almost an unheard of concept; the draconian Article 377 did not make it easy for a gay person or a couple to come to India and feel welcomed. I can’t hold it against them too, I would not go to a place where I could be jailed for being myself!

However, Indjapink worked hard back then to launch the first gay travel service for India, Kudos to Sanjay and his team. They have worked hard and have justly got the rewards and recognition for being a path breaker. However, the time has now come for the next act in this grand theatre. India is rightly positioning itself as a promising land in global tourism, in such a scenario why should gay tourism lag behind.

So what does it take to make India a global tourist attraction for gay tourists?

Not a whole lot other than the concerted efforts of a committed group of travel industry professionals. People who understand the sensitivity of a gay traveler, who are willing to painstakingly identify great tourism experiences for a gay person touring India and who are intelligent enough to work with the best service providers in the country – hotels, airlines, guides, drivers and more.

At Out Journeys, we welcome competition; it is our desire to be a part of a community of tour operators who are genuinely working towards opening up the country for gay tourism. We’d like to partner with the iconic hotel chains such as Taj and Oberois and also with the lovely heritage and boutique hotels across Rajasthan, Kerela and everywhere else to educate them about the possibilities of becoming truly gay welcoming. We are already educating the people on the ground about how they can benefit by creating a gay friendly environment and the rewards are already showing!

In the end, what will matter will be our ability to serve our guests, give them a vacation that they will cherish for a lifetime. Make their holiday experience so ‘WOW’ that they HAVE to go back and tell all their friends, that they HAVE to log on to TripAdvisor and write about how beautiful India is, how warm its people are and how wonderfully their holiday was organized.

If we could do this, Out Journeys would have achieved its purpose.

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