LGBT Market Trends & Destination Marketing

As the global visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community increases, there has a steady increase in interest in this community as a consumer group, a trend which is particularly evident in the travel industry.

A 2012 Global Tourism Report on LGBT Tourism published by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) shows that gay/bi men had taken an average of 3.9 trips in the past 12 months. With lesbian/bi women, that number was 3.3 trips.

As highlighted in an older post (see here), for destination marketing, caution is necessary against making assumptions about the LGBT market, with the international organizations publishing the aforementioned studies stating that the wedding market for this sector is a big driver, and that the LGBT sector appears to have bucked the recession trend, bringing higher-than-average spend to their holiday destinations. Generally savvy in digital media, LGBT travel is also influenced by social media and digital or actual word of mouth.

This year has also seen to major developments for the international LGBT community with the legalization of same sex marriage by several countries worldwide.

In April, New Zealand became the first country in the Asia Pacific to legalise same sex marriage and is now the 13th country to legalise gay marriage, after Uruguay passed its law earlier in the month, followed by France.

This comes in contrast with the latest news coming from Russia just a few days ago where Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law allegedly one of the most draconian anti-gay laws on the planet. The new law comes only seven months before Russia is to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi expecting visitors and visitors from around the world.

Meanwhile, several destinations have just launched dedicated tourism campaigns targeting the LGBT market. Here is a selection of the latest initiatives:

“Make History” in New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand launched a nationwide ‘Make History’ campaign in Australia this June, capitalising on the recent attention New Zealand gained by passing the Marriage Amendment Bill.

The tourism organisation is holding a competition offering the chance to be the first Australian same-sex couple to wed in New Zealand.

Make History

The new campaign has received significant attention from Australian media since the competition launched on Friday 21 June 2013.

The campaign is being conducted in partnership with the Star Observer, a weekly gay and lesbian community newspaper, with the competition winners set to be announced 15 July 2013. Prize includes return flights from Australia, accommodation, a special wedding ceremony and stylish reception.

According to the organization, the significant attention the change of legislation received in Australia has provided a great platform to further promote New Zealand as a wedding and honeymoon destination for anyone and everyone.

New York Loves LGBT

Since New York legalized gay marriage in 2011, there has been a continued push to promote the state as a same-sex wedding destination. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down the Defense Of Marriage Act, the state is also highlighting the other big draw: same-sex marriage.

As New Yorkers celebrated pride weekend in the end of June, New York Governor Cuomo announced a new “I Love New York LGBT” tourism website- The new campaign invites LGBT travelers to explore why there is so much to love in New York State.

The site will help the LGBT community plan their New York State vacation by listing popular destinations while it also features a calendar of LGBT events and resources.


The logo for the new campaign features the iconic ‘I Love NY’ logo with a rainbow-colored heart. The content is dedicated to the LGBT market segment while it also highlights the state’s long history with the LGBT community.

Sources: Tourism New Zealand, New York State Tourism, UNWTO, IGLTA.

Check out all the latest Tourism & Travel Trends here.

Fresh Destination Marketing Initiatives

A selection which we find representative of the current global tourism and travel market trends.

UK focuses on GREAT “Holidays at Home”

Wallace and Gromit, the Nick Park-created animation duo, are to star in a £4m UK tourism campaign, appearing in a TV advert designed to inspire Britons to take holidays in their own country.


The pair, who will also feature in cinemas, will be seen on their travels, discovering what tourist chiefs describe as “the best of the UK”.

The campaign forms part of “Holidays at Home are GREAT“, a pan-UK Government-funded strategy which launched last year.


Designed to boost domestic tourism, the campaign aims to raise £80 million in additional tourism spend and more than a million overnight stays.

The £4m integrated campaign, led by VisitEngland, and supported by the home nation tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see Wallace and Gromit take to the road exploring the country and discovering the best of the UK (including some top spots for elite cheese tasting).  The Government funded campaign, ‘Great Adventure’, aims to inspire Britons to book a holiday through their local travel agent.


VisitEngland is working with a number of high street travel agents and operators across the country who will be putting together exciting British holiday packages for Wallace and Gromit and the rest of their customers.


New York Launches its Largest Tourism Campaign ever

At the conclusion of the first New York State Tourism Summit, where hundreds of tourism experts gathered in Albany to discuss ideas and new ways to bring tourists to every corner of the state, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of the states largest tourism campaign ever.

923122_10151607775704169_1178330672_nAfter discussions with tourism experts and hearing the concerns and ideas of local and international tourism officials, the governor announced a series of initiatives designed to make New York the tourism capital of the world:

Highest Level of Tourism Funding in Decades: Cuomo announced the state would invest nearly $60 million in tourism funding – the highest level of tourism funding in decades.

New I Love NY Marketing Campaign with Port Authority and MTA to Promote Upstate NY Tourism Destinations: Under the partnership announced, The MTA and Port Authority will provide $2 million worth of advertising space on subways, bus and commuter rail systems and at airport arrival points and kiosks to promote Upstate tourism.

  • The MTA/I Love NY Partnership will result in more 7,000 advertising spaces throughout the MTA subway, bus and commuter rail systems. In addition, the MTA and I Love NY will co-brand railroad destination and getaway packages to Long Island and Hudson Valley beaches, wineries, parks and attractions.
  • The Port Authority/I Love NY Partnership will result in advertising at the Port Authority’s most important travel hubs and services and more than 20 indoor and outdoor print/digital advertising resources at the Port Authority bus terminal, including high-visibility column wraps.
  • Additional Airline and Airport Partnerships: As the first entry point for many travelers and tourists, the governor announced new initiatives to welcome visitors to the Empire State and inform them about the state’s many assets and attractions. This will include on-site greeters and welcome centers at New York’s airports. The governor also announced the state’s airports will feature Taste NY. Additionally, Delta Airlines will start featuring I Love NY advertisements in its in-flight magazine starting this month.


NYS Sports and Special Events Commission: The state will create a sports and special events commission. The commission will be charged with recruiting sporting and other special events to venues across the state – and competing for part of the $600 billion global sports tourism industry.

New Welcome Centers at Border and Interstate Crossings: The centers will serve as hubs of information about the state’s tourism assets and attractions. New signs showcasing local attractions will also be strategically placed at these border and interstate crossings.

New Taste NY Marketing Efforts: As announced, Taste NY products will be sold at strategically located rest stops across the state.

International Tourism Campaign: From Asia to South America: The governor announced an international tourism campaign – I Love NY Asia / I Love NY South America – that will invite people overseas to the Empire State and have a presence in emerging markets such as China and Brazil.

New Tourism Information for Decision-Makers: Empire State Development will be a clearinghouse for tourism metrics, offering New York’s businesses a place to go for information on how to best market to visitors and attract tourists.

I Love NY in Times Square: The Times Square Alliance has agreed to give the state space at the Visitors Center to help market state attractions to the millions of tourists who pass through Times Square every year.

I Love NY LGBT: The governor announced an I Love NY LGBT niche tourism initiative to market New York to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, which accounts for approximately $70 billion in tourism spending in the U.S. every year.


Chile’s New International Campaign

A new campaign for the international tourism promotion of Chile was launched by the Subsecretaría de Turismo and Turismo Chile, the institution responsible for the promotion of Chile in international markets, as part of the events at World Travel Market (WTM) in Latin America.


Geographical, climatic and cultural contrasts play a fundamental role in this campaign, which promotes the diversity of activities in which to take part in Chile, such as trekking in the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine national park, one of the best nature destinations in the world, rafting down rivers surrounded by ancient forests and towering volcanoes, skiing the best slopes in the continent with the Andes as a backdrop, or experiencing the ancient culture of Rapa Nui on the remote Easter Island.


The images within the new promotional materials seek for a way of communication that is more focused on the traveler’s experience of the landscape and use, in addition, messages with humor and irony in order to engage a more diverse audience, conveying the essence of the local culture. Furthermore, it is based on the framework of the plan to promote Chile abroad, which has six experiences: Natural Inspiration, Adventure and Sport, Culture and Heritage, Flavors and Wine, Health and Wellbeing, and Urban Life.

The new images will start to be exhibited in all the markets that have been established as priorities: Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, England, the USA, Mexico and Australia.


New Marketing Campaigns for NY, Australia & Ireland

The Reinvention of  “I Love NY” logo with Crowd Sketches

New York just launched a new tourism campaign featuring a reinvention of the iconic “I Love NY” logo.

For the first time ever, the State has asked New Yorkers and visitors to help remake the “I Love NY” logo by submitting personal sketches depicting what they love about New York State (The “I Love NY” logo has not been used in television ads in over three years).

People can replace the heart in the iconic “I [HEART] NY” logo with their own drawing of what they most love about the state and submit it online where they will be displayed in an online gallery. It is the first time in nearly 40 years, since the logo’s inception, that New York State has officially asked the public for their interpretations of the “I Love NY” and for the reasons they love New York.

Select drawings may be used to replace the heart in “I Love NY” in new ads focused on New York’s many different experiences in future campaigns.

The new “I Love NY” ads are part of a $5 million tourism marketing campaign within the larger “New York Open for Business,” a $50 million statewide business initiative. The “I Love NY” ad campaign is expected to expand to feature other tourism seasons in the future.

Tourism Ireland to Londoners: “Escape the Madness”

While this summer’s Olympics promises to be a very exciting time in London, the event will inevitably draw huge crowds which will undoubtedly make commuting – and day-to-day life in general – more hectic for Londoners. Tourism Ireland will seize this opportunity – targeting hassled and weary Londoners – and present Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland as the ideal “escape” destination during this busy time.

Over 8 million people living in London will see Tourism Ireland’s “escape the madness” ad campaign this month, featuring an image of a wonderfully peaceful Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. From next week, ads will run on the London underground, highlighting the open spaces and lack of congestion there; over 200 large ads will appear at different tube stations across the city, targeting frustrated commuters during morning and evening rush hours. Ads will also appear in the Evening Standard, the popular free daily newspaper which is read by millions of commuters each day, again with a message urging people to “escape” to the beautiful landscape and open spaces of Northern Ireland.

Social media will also help create awareness; a campaign on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has almost 120,000 fans across GB) and Twitter (over 2,300 followers) saw Tourism Ireland post status updates on the Olympic Torch Relay around Northern Ireland this week and messages will be posted regularly before and during the games. The hashtag #Escapethemadness will be used to create plenty of lively conversations about the island of Ireland on the social networks in GB.

A specially-created web page on is also promoting the torch relay, as well as the key sporting events and festivals. A series of itineraries for the thousands of accredited and non-accredited media visiting London from across the globe has been developed while Tourism Ireland is also working closely with key tour operators in all overseas markets.


There’s nothing like Australia, Phase 2

The latest phase of Tourism Australia’s global marketing campaign, There’s nothing like Australia, has just launched  in China – Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable overseas tourism market.

With a clear digital focusTourism Australia will spend approximately A$180 million over the next three years rolling out the evolving campaign in its key international markets and in Australia. It expects to achieve a total investment of A$250 million by securing up to A$70 million in additional funding from industry partners to support joint marketing activities, aimed at promoting Australia with a clear and consistent voice.

In addition to a new broadcast ad and print executions the campaign boasts a strong digital and social media focus, and will leverage the advocacy of Tourism Australia’s three million Facebook fans. Other elements include a new, interactive tablet app and hub on Tourism Australia has created an interactive tablet application which is unique in both concept and content. With inspiring multimedia content and intuitive functionality, to take customers further into the stories played out in the ad and provide more information on the locations.

Tourism Australia is seeking the involvement of the Australian industry in the campaign through partnership opportunities and by sharing campaign tools and resources.

The soundtrack for the ad, “It’s Like Love”, is the result of a unique musical collaboration last year between the two musicians who wrote the composition as part of Tourism Australia’s multi-award winning Making Tracks campaign.

Destination BrandWatch (US): New WINTER Tourism Marketing Initiatives from NYC, Philadelphia & Muskegon Mich.

New York City Launches Marketing and Promotional Campaigns to Offer Unprecedented Value to Visitors and New Yorkers This Winter

-Broadway and Restaurant Stars and Partners American Express, AT&T, American Airlines, Travelocity, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Time Out New York Join NYC Tourism Industry to Promote the Get More NYC™ First-Ever Broadway Week, On the House Off-Broadway Promotion, NYC Restaurant Week®, Hotel Deals, Flight Deals and More-

On the heels of last week’s announcement of New York City’s record year in tourism with 48.7 million visitors, New York City announced the latest marketing and promotional campaigns to drive tourism and boost the local economy during the historically slow travel months of January and February.

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta were joined by Broadway star Harvey Fierstein, celebrity chef David Burke, and corporate partners American Express, American Airlines, AT&T, Travelocity, Nickelodeon andTime Out New York at the R Lounge at the Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square to encourage residents and visitors to experience marketing campaigns including the City’s first-ever Broadway Week, the Get More NYC campaign, the return of the Off-Broadway promotion On the House and NYC Restaurant Week. The winter initiatives are designed to encourage tourism growth across the five boroughs in the lead-up to achieve Mayor Bloomberg’s goal to attract 50 million visitors annually to New York City by 2012.

“After a record year for tourism in terms of jobs, visitation and spending, we look forward to an even more successful 2011,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel. “These strategic marketing programs developed by NYC & Company will help to boost economic activity across the five boroughs for thousands of businesses across New York City and the 320,000 New Yorkers employed by the tourism industry.”

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of a promotional campaign that began this past fall during the City’s first-ever domestic road show to promote travel to New York City, and we thank our corporate partners American Express, AT&T, American Airlines, Travelocity, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and Time Out New York, who have helped us to create our most robust winter savings program ever,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “Today we want to remind everyone that there is no better time to visit New York City or – if you you’re already a New Yorker – to take advantage of all our great City has to offer.”

The Get More NYC campaign, with programs offered throughout January and February highlights special offers across retail, dining, culture, entertainment and hotels. To support local New Yorkers and businesses, American Express® Cardmembers will receive triple Membership Rewards® points from January 24 to February 28 at over 300 shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and more when they register their rewards program–enrolled American Express Card starting today.

“New York has so much to offer all year long, and the Get More NYC campaign really shows off the best of winter in the City,” said Lisa Skiptunis, Vice President, New York City Client Management, American Express. “American Express is proud to once again partner with NYC & Company and our merchants to offer terrific value and experiences to our Cardmembers.”


Philadelphia engages with the locals via “Write-a-billboard-love-line-get-famous-promotion”

-If you love Philly like we love Philly, show us! Write us a “With Love” line and it may end up on a billboard.-

New billboards along I-95 in Philadelphia, Route 30 in New Jersey and on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, urge motorists to go to to submit a “love letter” to Philly. One lucky participant’s message will end up on a highway-side billboard (and maybe on an ad resume!)

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) is jacking up the “love” part of “city of brotherly love” as a new part of the “With Love, Philadelphia XOXO” campaign. It’s just the latest attempt to cultivate and foster both a sense of civic pride and communicate that Philadelphia is more than many outsiders might think. And as with most crowd-sourced campaigns, the journey, not the publicized goal, is the goal.

It’s just the latest move from a municipal branding agency that demonstrates how a lot of creativity and a willingness to work outside the normal branding channels, can turn low-budget strategies into big awareness and real results.

Of course, while it is a fun reward to one participant, the final billboard is somewhat inconsequential to the objective of the “Love Philly” campaign. Encouraging participation in, and social network promotion of, a positive activity associated with Philadelphia is the real objective.

The idea is that users will go the the site, create a billboard entry, and then that entry will be emailed back to the creator who can then share it on Facebook and/or Twitter, thus exponentially increasing the reach of the promotion.



Muskegon launches “Catch Our Drift” tourism campaign

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) – Muskegon County tourism officials know how to take a snow storm and make it a positive.

The Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a new campaign, “Catch Our Drift”, to promote winter tourism.

Muskegon County residents were greeted with deep snow and plenty of options to play in it. It’s a day tourism promoters say makes the county a great place to visit. Winter play in Muskegon County can involve a variety of activities, from hiking on a snow covered beach to speeding down a sand dune to ice fishing to shooting some pictures at Hoffmaster State Park.

Tourism manager Jill Emery says the campaign will appear on billboards, publications in- and out-of-state, and on-line.

Emery says Muskegon County is well known for summer attractions but the “Catch Our Drift” campaign is aimed at reminding potential travelers that there’s fun to be had in the winter too.

Destination BrandWatch: New Campaigns from Brazil – Athens – New York & Sydney

Brazil kicks off 2014 World Cup tourism campaign

Brazil is highlighting its tourism attractions and its role as host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a ground-breaking exhibition in Johannesburg. “Casa Brazil – Sensational Brazil” is being held at Sandton Convention Centre alongside World Football House for the duration of World Cup in South Africa. Based in an area of 2,900 m², the exhibition is the main instrument of the Brazilian government during the World Cup in South Africa to promote the country as the next host of the competition. Highlights will include the unveiling of the official 2014 World Cup logo. Tourism Minister Luiz Barretto said the World Cup would increase the number of foreign tourists from the current five million to eight million in 2014. “It is the first kick to 2014 and the chance to make Brazil a great tourism destination,” he said.  source:

This is Athens!

BreathtakingAthens.Com, the official visitors’ website of Athens, Greece has just launched a new web initiative titled ”This is Athens”. The campaign’s objective is to create the largest photostream ever made for Athens. Click on the the photo below to visit the website.

New York Promotes Itself as the Anti-Vegas in New Campaign

A new international marketing campaign by the Big Apple is selling the city as the anti-Las Vegas. “What happens here is transformative. It stays with you forever,” marketing director Jane Reiss said about a message that will say on television, in print and on billboards around the country and in Australia, Brazil and Europe. The message, “See More, Be More,” is part of the “This Is New York City” campaign that began three years ago, and is in direct counterpoint with Vegas’ popular saying, “What happens here, stays here.” The new campaign will be seen across the country and in multiple destinations throughout the world. It also will feature promotional packages from leading corporate partners, including American Express, American Airlines and Travelocity, among others. The efforts are expected to provide even more momentum to a tourism industry that employs more than 308,000 New Yorkers and generates $28 billion plus in economic impact. City officials are hoping the new tactic with help Mayor Michael Bloomberg achieve his goal of drawing 50 million tourists annually by 2013, despite the falling buying power of the euro, the New York Times reported. source:

Sydnicity – will you be there?

Sydney’s Tourism has just launched a new $10 million Sydney Tourism Campaign called Sydnicity! Here’s the brand campaign story:

What is it about Sydney that makes her such a wonderful, magical place? What is it about this city that makes you feel so positive, so happy and so alive when you are here? Is it the bright blue water? Is it the natural beauty? Is it that liberating feeling that at any time anything is possible in this wonderland? There is something indefinable that puts Sydney in a space of her own. It’s a real ‘you have to be there’ type of place. The English language seems to be devoid of that one perfect, all encompassing word that is able to totally sum it up. So we created a word that will come to mean all that’s fabulous about Sydney. That word is Sydnicitysource#mce_temp_url#