Orlando, FL (PRWEB) May 11, 2012
Efforts to bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city beautiful could be jeopardized if plans by a local group to scare gay tourists are carried through. OrlandoGayTravel.com was founded last year to encourage lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) travel and to encourage vacationers to experience gay-friendly Central Florida. The Orlando area is one of the top 10 most visited places for LGBT tourists and numbers from the American Hotel and Lodging Association estimate gay travelers spent $3.0 Billion last year in Orlando.
“It’s clear that LGBT visitation is important not only to the tourist sector but to the whole local economy,” says OrlandoGayTravel.com Executive Director Mikael Audebert.
An aerial warning by a group of nay-sayers is putting all those effort in jeopardy. According to an article in the April 17 edition of The Huffington Post, the The Florida Family Association says they have raised $4,100 and are looking to raise twice as much to fly banners over Disney during Gay Day “warning” visitors of gays in the park. "This wouldn’t be the first time they do it," continues Audebert, "but now an organization is standing up and setting the record straight.”
OrlandoGayTravel.com, the official non-profit LGBT Convention and Visitors Bureau, has decided to borrow the most effective promotional tactics for their own purposes.
“We are putting a banner in the air during Gay Days to welcome LGBT visitors”, says OrlandoGayTravel.com Marketing Director Paul Queen.
“Our plan is to use a primary banner saying Gay Friendly, Everyone Friendly! As funds allow, we will add additional banners saying Welcome LGBT Visitors and another saying Thanks LGBT for $3.0 Billion. We are asking for public contributions to make the ‘Gay-friendly Sky Campaign’ happen,” Queen said.
OrlandoGayTravel.com has set up a special website to collect donations at: http://www.orlandogaytravel.com/friendlysky
The gay visitor’s bureau did not budget for any type of banner promotion this year and their next expenditures are committed to getting Orlando featured in gay and lesbian travel guides and hosting groups of travel writers. Making request for public donations to pay for this specific campaign allows them to continue these other vital communications initiatives that are identified in their marketing plan. Thus far in 2012, to build the Orlando brand for gay and lesbian travelers, the organization has:
- Launched a comprehensive travel website at http://www.orlandogaytravel.com
- Filed a preliminary request, with The Central Florida Sports Commission, to host the 2018 Gay games, with 15,000 participants and 200,000 attendees
- Secured, with the Shades of Green at Walt Disney World, our first LGBT convention for OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel
- Created a special magazine advertising insert, with Visit Orlando, distributed by Visit Florida and seen by 600,000 potential visitors
- Promoted Orlando at the Annual Global Gay Travel Show in Brazil, sponsored by the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association
“I know that every Orlando-area travel organization invites all visitors to come and enjoy our attractions, entertainment, top-flight hotels and wonderful restaurants,” says Queen.
“No one is ever singled out for exclusion. It is simply impossible to denigrate gay visitors the first weekend in June then tell them to keep coming at other times of the year. It is time to stand up and show what an open and inclusive place we are to all our visitors,” Queen said.
Gay Day Organizers say the week-long event starts Tuesday, May 29, 2012.