This article is an exploratory investigation of the emergence of gay tourism. It briefly reviews the emergence of the gay consumer and discusses the development of gay-friendly travel products and destinations. In particular, it details the development of two European gay-friendly destinations. Manchester and Amsterdam, concentrating on the role of gay events and festivals in creating a gay identity for those cities. The article's substantive contribution to the tourism literature is, however, its focus on the importance of space and place to this community. Given that public space is contested, controlled and heterosexualised, the article suggests that whilst there are significant opportunities for tourism marketers to reach out to the gay consumer, the resultant touristification of gay space may ultimately degay spaces and events and erase their essentially gay identities.