Returning to the gaybourhood: Expectations of resilience and recovery of Chueca (Madrid) after the COVID-19 pandemic
Keywords:LGBTQ tourism, gaybourhoods, gentrification, resilience, post-pandemic recovery
Chueca, in Madrid, is Spain’s most well-known gaybourhood, a significant space for both local and national LGBTQ individuals and activist movements, as well as for the Spanish and European LGBTQ tourist circuits. The COVID- 19 pandemic hit hard in a neighbourhood already heavily disputed among arguments of touristification and tourist accommodation, as tourist-oriented businesses began closing and other, more resident-oriented ones transformed themselves to survive the year 2020. Drawing from ethnographic research undertaken from 2019 to early 2021, this article analyses different experiences and expectations of recovery among local professionals, mostly business- owners from Chueca itself. The opposition between a return to business-as-usual and a revolution towards a more humane or sustainable tourism, on the one hand, and an already conflicted debate over the nature of the neighbourhood, on the other one, interacts with the wider situation of urban tourist destinations in Western Europe and with the practices of discourses unveiled in Chueca. The article argues for the pandemic’s role as a catalyst for pre-existing conflicts, as local and global processes intertwine.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Ignacio E. Domínguez Ruiz, Olga I. Mancha-Cáceres, J. Ignacio Pichardo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.