Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — LGBT travel is big business in Canada, with LGBT travellers in this market spending $8.5 billion dollars annually. The market is growing and so is the product.
For agents interested in LGBT Travel, please join the new Facebook group The Travel Gaydar to connect with others selling LGBT Travel.
Here’s a round-up of recent trips and stories to help keep you informed of this growing area of the industry.
Travel Gay Canada (TGC), Canada’s only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) tourism industry association, has announced that Winnipeg will be the site of its upcoming conference. Taking place under the banner ‘Creating Inclusive Tourism Through LGBT Diversity’, it takes place April 27-29, 2016 with speakers from across North America presenting topics including ‘Straight Talk on the Gay Market’, ‘How to effectively use social media’, ‘The 5 action steps to sell to the LGBT Market’ and ‘Creating an LGBT Strategy’.
Opening keynote speaker Stuart Knight will be directing his renown presentation ‘Four Conversations for Success’ to specifically address the LGBT market. “I am so excited to be speaking at the LGBT Tourism Conference in thriving Winnipeg this year. This industry and community are so vital to Canada’s economy and to being a world class country to visit and I’m honoured to be part of it!” said Knight.
“This conference brings travel professionals from across North America to learn about the importance of this niche but powerful market segment,” added Travel Gay Canada President, Colin Sines.
For more information, go to tgcconference.com.
Atlantis boasts the ‘hottest all-gay vacations on the planet’ offering all-gay cruise and resort options. The highlight for the company this year will be a 4,200-guest trip onboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas May 21 – 28. Other highlights include taking over Club Med Cancun (aka Club Atlantis Cancun) April 30 – May 7; sailing from Venice to Barcelona on the Eurodam (July 29 – Aug. 6, from $1,499) and Barcelona to Athens cruise onboard Celebrity Equinox (Aug. 15 – 25). The group is also teasing a new Halloween cruise from San Diego and a big announcement for 2017 is coming soon.
For more see atlantisevents.com.
Israel LGBT travel specialists, OUTstanding Travel has launched a new website just in time to promote its Tel Aviv Pride tours. They are currently offering a nine-day tour starting on May 29 centered around the Pride event with two price points; Standard Hotel Level and High Standard Hotel Level. Pricing depends on the size of the group and they can offer a quote upon request. Agents can earn 10% on any group trips booked.
It will also soon be adding Greece and Turkey to its list of destinations.
For more information, go to OUTstandingTravel.com.
Transgender Vacations launched last month with a focus on programs and itineraries for the transgender and cross-dressing communities. Programs also include options to bring along friends and family.
Transgender Vacations has partnered with the United Kingdom’s Focus Diva to ensure that transgender and cross-dressing communities receive the best possible service. To celebrate this union between the two companies, Transgender Vacations has announced the world’s first dedicated Transgender and Friends European River Cruise. The trip will cruise the Danube River stopping in Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest.
“For travel agents and travel consumers we, as part of the LGBT community, offer insight and specialized knowledge, a ‘familial’ comfort and confidence, as well as a fantastic range of products that is unparalleled. Booking with us, travel agents and members of the community are assured that we understand the challenges that transgender travelers face and that we are their ultimate resource and ambassador every step of the way to deliver their ultimate holidays,” said Focus Diva director Jennifer Grant.
For more information on Transgender Vacations, go to transgendervacations.com.
Olivia continues to provide great tours and stays for the lesbian community. This year they are still offering 14 vacations and they have announced new additions 2017: Majestic Alaska cruise June 25-July 2; Iceland Midnight Sun cruise July 28-Aug. 4; Secrets Playa Bonita Panama April 15 – 22; Budapest to Prague riverboat cruise July 1 – 11; Whales & Sea of the Cortez Week Feb 25-March 11.
For more information, go to olivia.com.
My husband and I recently learned to ski at the Tremblant Training School. If you have ever thought about learning to ski, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Go to travelweek.ca/blog/expect-learning-ski-mont-tremblant/.