Recent media reports indicating that many Irish hotels including one prominent Donegal property are now actively ‘chasing the pink pound’ and are promoting themselves as being gay and lesbian friendly in an attempt to gain a larger market share, has raised some eyebrows in the county this week.
However, one leading hotelier has come out and said that hotels in general in the county do not discriminate as to who stays with them on the basis of race, colour, religion or sexuality. He also stressed that it might be illegal to do so.
The prestigious Harvey’s Point Hotel at Lough Eske has been listed in two of the top gay websites which promote gay and lesbian holidays throughout the world. It is also the only Donegal property to be listed.
Noel Cunningham, Customer Relations Manager at the prestigious Harvey’s Point told the Donegal Democrat, “To be quite honest in the present financial climate we are chasing every pound out there - green, white, gold or pink and have always done so.
“This has always been the policy of the hotel. The day of discrimination on any level is over. This hotel accepts all guests and even more importantly, staff applications irrespective of colour, class, religion and sexual orientation.
“To be perfectly honest I feel that people are just jumping on the bandwagon and making a mountain out of a molehill. I have yet to go into a restaurant, hotel or pub anywhere in the country or in fact, the world, and had my sexuality or religion queried.
“I would think that many hotels in this county welcome gay and lesbian guests to their hotels and just treat them like everybody else - which is the way it should be.
“This week we have launched our new Green Guide and I stress Green and not Pink which highlights some of the great attractions of Donegal and the whole north West region. Hopefully we will get as much publicity for this initiative.
“I might add that we are also one of the few hotels that accept cats and dogs but I don’t find the world and its mother ringing us for comments. There is a hearty welcome for everybody in Harvey’s Point and long may this tradition continue.” The Donegal Democrat understands that hotels in the county welcome gay and lesbian couples and that quite a few have hosted same sex marriages in recent times.