As you might have noticed from the cover of this issue, this is National Tourism week. But what does that have to do with our community? Tourism and hospitality is an economic bedrock of the LGBT community, and we are ourselves a bedrock of the tourism business. Usually at this point I’d give you a report or two to prove that point, but there simply are too many, and I’m sure you already knew that since you know that you most likely travel more than your average heterosexual neighbor.
We in Philadelphia understood the power of LGBT tourism before anyone else in the world.
This city created the first ever campaign to bring LGBT tourists to a region. You might remember the campaign that featured two colonial gentlemen walking around Carpenter’s Hall with the slogan: “Get your history straight and you night life gay.”
The commercial won almost all the international travel awards, and it was so successful putting dollars in the coffers of the city’s hotels and restaurants that it has been copied by places around the world like London, New York, San Francisco… too many to fully list. And that started here in Philly.
Elsewhere in this paper you can read how the president of the national association of Tourism Agencies makes the point that it will be LGBT travelers who are first to hit the roads after this pandemic. So when you do, think of Philadelphia and it’s revolutionary campaign, and be sure to visit those cities that have laid out the welcome mat for LGBT travelers.