Traveling internationally can sometimes be a scary experience for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transexual tourists — especially if you’re using services like Airbnb, CouchSurfing, or NightSwapping to stay in people’s homes and get a taste of local living on the cheap, but you’re unsure how to gauge in advance whether your hosts will be cool or homophobic.
Now, finally, there’s an app for that. Wimbify is designed to connect LGBT travelers with local LGBT hosts, so that we’re not only always sure to feel safe and welcome where we’re staying, but we’ll also be able to gain some immediate insights (and an “in”) to the local LGBT scene. We caught up with Wimbify’s co-founder and CEO Alessio Virgili to learn more.
Virgili, who was born and lives in Rome (with frequent stays in Milan and San Francisco) and also acts as the Italian ambassador for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), told MTV News that he and his long-time partner were inspired to create Wimbify in part because a lesbian couple they’re friends with scheduled a home-stay during their vacation, but when they arrived, they were disappointed to find that “the owner was not happy to have two lesbians in his home.”
“I think this is absurd in 2015,” Virgili continued, “but unfortunately there is still a need to know if someone is gay-friendly or not.”
Virgili also said the company’s market research suggested that 53% of LGBT people travel alone at least once a year. He said, “When I travel, I want to be able to discover the gay scene of a destination, be able to get a coffee with my partner without shame, meet like-minded new people, and learn more about the history of the local LGBT community.”
He added that depending on where you’re traveling, those kinds of goals can present some challenges.
“Sometimes, unfortunately, it is not easy to find information about the local gay scene, especially in destinations where the gay life is more underground,” Virgili told MTV News. That’s why with Wimbify, you’re able to find more than just a safe place to stay — you’ll also be connected with a friendly LGBT host who’s eager to show you around.
Vladimir Diaz, a 35-year-old who was born in Cuba and now lives in Barcelona, told MTV News that his experiences as both a host and traveler through Wimbify have been rewarding, and have led him to develop new international friendships. He also said that he’s currently planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico with a friend he made through Wimbify who lives in LA.
“When I learned about this app from a friend, I was surprised,” Diaz said. “I thought it was very innovative, because you can find not only accommodations, but also you can meet other friends for planning trips.” He added that “the app is also very user-friendly and there is a very good help center.”
Wimbify is currently only available for IOS, but Virgili told MTV News that due to a large number of requests, it will also be available on Android beginning December 16th, and that the company plans to launch a Windows version within the next year.
more recommended stories
OPINION: AMLO will fight the drug war in a different way
Phillip Smith is a writer, author.
Mérida City Council will take “vulnerable social groups” representatives to visit Logos Hope
MÉRIDA, Yuc.- The City Council of.
Mexico opposes U.S. plan to make it take asylum seekers -document, source
MEXICO CITY, July 12 (Reuters) –.
Mexican scientists develop fetal monitoring device
Specialists from the Center for Industrial.
800,000 tourists are expected to visit Yucatan this summer
“During this summer holiday season it.
Yucatecan guayabera will be present at the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla 2018
The president of the National Chamber.
One&Only Palmilla a state-of-the-art beach resort by the Sea of Cortez
The One&Only Palmilla sits by the.
“Chayote” the Mexican super-food that could cure cancerous tumors
After a decade of research and.
Hoteliers of Cancún seek promotion in new international markets
Despite the situation faced by hoteliers.
Procter & Gamble moves Mexico headquarters & staff to new offices
Mexico City – Procter & Gamble Co..