Playa del Inglés ("Englishman 's Beach") is a sea resort in the south coast of the island of Gran Canaria. It is a zone part of Maspalomas, in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, and is a popular tourist attraction. There is some dispute upon the origin of the resort's name. One explanation is that an English bohemian moved to the untouched area early in the 20th Century. However, it has been stated that the bohemian was actually French, but was mistaken as English by the locals.
It has a long beach made of tall sand dunes, and is connected with other beach towns including San Agustín and Maspalomas in the touristic centre of the island. The area remained largely unspoiled until the 1960's when large scale tourist development changed the resort. Many of these constructions were large concrete tower blocks, however many have undergone renovation in recent years to make them more sympathetic to the surrounding area.
There are a number of large shopping centre's in the resort with the 'Yumbo' and 'Kasbah' being the largest. The population was 17,158 in 2002, and growing. Hotels, restaurants, taverns and villas are aligned with its beach. Playa del Inglés is linked with the old highway linking Puerto de Mogán and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and with the GC1 superhighway with an interchange to the north. Until the arrival of tourism, agriculture was the main industry in the area. Currently, after tourism, the leading industries are business and agriculture.
The mountains can be seen to the north. Playa del Ingles has been associated with the gay traveller for over 25 years. Despite the fact that the Canaries is primarily Catholic, the locals have embraced the gay tourist. The main area for gay (and gay friendly) bars, clubs and accommodation is the Yumbo Centre and its surrounding area. There are at least 30 venues catering to gay mainstream and specific tastes such as leather, drag, cruising and men/women only. There is also a gay beach, which is situated in the Maspalomas beach area around hut 7. Each year in the 2nd week of May one of the largest gay pride festivals in Europe is held in the Yumbo and throughout the resort. The 2011 event was attended by over 100,000 people.