The Secretary of Tourism of the Government of Mexico, Miguel Torruco Marqués, explains to investors, tour operators and officials a renewed approach toward gay travelers.

Madrid, Spain — Yucatan will lead Mexico’s efforts to attract more LGBT+ visitors, said federal Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués.

The official gave a conference at Fitur Gay, a segment of Spain’s huge international travel fair.

The Mexican government will join the company Queer Destinations, which specializes in promoting travel among the LGBT+ community.

“The Ministry of Tourism of the Mexican government sees in each of the segments a new opportunity to increase tourism flows and spending … which will always be for the benefit of the population and employment of Mexicans,” said Torruco Marqués.

Last year at the Berlin tourist fair, the letter of intent was signed between the company and the federal government to promote LGBT+ tourism.

The strategy consists of training tourist professionals and service providers to make same-sex couples or trans visitors feel welcome.

Last year, gay U.S. travelers alone spent more than $100 million on vacations, he said.

In 2016 alone, the segment consisted of 35 million tourists and is growing annually by 10.3 percent, compared to 3.8 percent overall.

Of the 44 million that the country received in 2019 at least 3.3 million are part of the LGBT + community.

Torruco Marqués said the state of Yucatán, where the capital city already has a visible gay presence, will take on the pilot program first.

Felipe Cárdenas, board member of the LGBTQ+ International Travel Association and Oriol Pamies, founder of Queer Destinations, joined the federal official in a press conference to announce the initiative. No public funds were used in the program, Torruco Marqués said.

Chains like Meliá or Hyatt have joined this first phase and as they move forward they will include small and medium-sized businesses.

The goal for 2020 is to work each month in a different tourist destination and finish the year having given training courses in 20 states.