Japan Looks to the LGBTQ+ Tourism Market

Author: , January 11th, 2019

Japan - Pixabay

Japan’s tourism industry is looking for ways to attract LGBT visitors from overseas and take advantage of their tendency to spend more than average tourists.

Tourism-related businesses all over the world are “scrambling” to attract LGBT travelers, who have “considerable purchasing and spending power,” said Shintaro Koizumi, chief executive of Out Japan Co., a Tokyo-based marketing firm conducting seminars and other programs to support corporate clients seeking to learn how to handle issues involving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

With data showing that LGBT tourists spend about twice as much as average travelers, hotels and other accommodation facilities in Japan are stepping up efforts to appeal to them. The move is in line with a government target of attracting 40 million foreign tourists in 2020, up from 28.69 million in 2017, estimating total spending of ¥8 trillion during their stays, up from ¥4.42 trillion.

When American tourists visit Japan for 10 days, an average travel agency arranges tours that cost them $3,500 to $4,000 each, excluding airfare, according to industry officials. In contrast, trip arrangements made by a travel agency catering to LGBT clients generally cost more than $7,000.

By Jiji – Full Story at the Japan Times

 

Gay NYC – City Guide NY

Author: , September 21st, 2017
Stonewall - flickr

Image: NCPA Photos/Flickr

New York City has long been a supporter of the LGBT community, and if you’re gay and planning a visit to the city, then you’re in for a treat. Rounded up below are six “must-dos” if you’re in Manhattan/gay NYC and looking for a memorable time. From visiting the famed Stonewall Inn to catching a local drag show, check out our top six picks for gay travelers coming to New York.

Best of NYC Gay Visits: The Stonewall Inn (West Village)

Make a visit to the place “where pride began.” The Stonewall Inn is an important part of gay pride history, and it’s still a popular destination for modern New Yorkers today. Get your photo in front of the famed brick exterior before heading in to grab a drink and take in the game-changing establishment that surrounds you. 53 Christopher St., 212-488-2705, thestonewallinnnyc.com

By Chelsey Grasso – Full Story at City Guide NY

Gay NYC Travel Resources

New Map of New York City’s Historic Queer Sites

Author: , May 26th, 2017

New York City Queer History

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has produced an interactive map featuring their work to exhaustively identify and document sites in New York City pivotal to LGBT history. The project’s founders, Andrew Dolkart, Ken Lustbader, and Jay Shockley, have spent 25 years in research and advocacy and sought to contextualize events and places that had an impact on LGBT lives and progress.

Including sites such as Christine Jorgensen‘s childhood home to Julio Rivera Corner to pre-Stonewall activist gathering spaces, the Project officially began in August 2015 and actively seeks input from members of the community for suggestions and feedback. They described their mission to local NYC site DNAInfo:

Of the 92,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, about a dozen are listed for their association with LGBT history.

The historic sites project hopes to change that.

Full Story at Towleroad.com

Buenos Aires – LGBTIQA Capital

Author: , August 20th, 2016

Buenos Aires

Next to a photography exhibition of transsexuals, Ruben Forace touches up his black eyeliner with one hand as he holds a balloon with the rainbow flag in the other. “My identity is ambiguous. I’m not trans because I didn’t get a gender-reassignment surgery and I don’t consider myself as a normal gay guy. My partners are heterosexuals and I don’t like going out with gay men,” he says.

Forace, who works as a tourist guide and has identified as a female cross-dresser for the past 10 years, says his identity is fluid. “During the day, I’m a man and I wear clothes for men. At night, when I go out dancing, I am a girl.” Forace goes by Tati at night.

Forace is one of hundreds of people participating in Buenos Aires’ LGBTIQ festival, a week-long series of events to celebrate sexual diversity. Organized by Argentina’s Tourism Ministry, the festival features drag queens shows, queer tango classes, sports activities, photography exhibitions, and business networking opportunities. For a week, the city’s pedestrian road signs changed to two men and two women.

By Kamilia Lahrichi – Full Story at Fusion.net

Argentina Gay Travel Resources

The 5 Friendliest LGBTQ Vacation Hotspots

Author: , May 28th, 2016

There are fabled destinations with long-standing LGBTQ traditions—just ask Lesbos, Mykonos and New Orleans—where escaping from the confines of every day was never so easy, never so limitless and never so completely carefree. But the modern world has offered up fantastic cultural meccas that always take a keen interest in making everyone feel comfortable, and those who identify LGBTQ will fit right in.

So what are you waiting for—the party’s just ahead!

  1. Berlin, Germany

Berlin - pixabay

With a long standing history that is as intense as it is troubled, Berlin has arisen from the ashes of its past to become one of the most diverse, well-rounded, and respecting cities in the world with multi-ethnicities immigrating and thriving with the German population.

In addition to their incredibly progressive views, Berlin is also the gay capital of Europe with a gay museum, a gay memorial, and an openly gay mayor. While that doesn’t cover all the basis, the open-minded city is equally comfortable with the rest of the queer community. Head for Hafen, one of the most famous gay bars in town, Connection, a dance club that shouldn’t be missed, and Gay Hostel for accommodation—you’ll find plenty of like-minded people here to experience this amazing city with.

  1. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles - pixabay

While most of Hollywood is constantly under scrutiny of being one or more of the letters in LGBTQ, the truth is that Los Angeles is a great place to be LGBTQ. Between the cultural metropolis and its heavy art, business, and beauty industries, there are plenty of LGBTQ-friendly beaches and nightclubs to frequent, and the weather is always perfect for a stop down by the sea.

Make a stop at The Abbey for the quintessential gay bar-lounge-party time, which includes both an indoor and outdoor areas and the most prominent members of the LGBTQ community as regulars on the busy weekends.

  1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Marijuana and prostitution aren’t the only things bringing visitors to Amsterdam; it’s also the totally chill vibe of the city of Amsterdam. Between the canals and coffee shops, the city is thoroughly on board with the LGBTQ cause—in fact, the city legalized same-sex marriage in the early 1800s, the first place in the entire world to do so. But enough about the history; time to get to the cool stuff!

When in Amsterdam, do as the Amsterdamians do and hit up Cafe Dubbel D (formerly Cafe Rouge), one of the busiest shops in the entire city. Next, plan your day around Rapido parties, because this is a good time you aren’t going to want to miss. Then hit up Thermos for an excellent spa experience and Hemelse Modder for a perfect European meal and excellent service.

  1. Madrid, Spain

Madrid - pixabay

Madrid is home to perhaps the gayest community around, Chueca, where nightlife reigns supreme, as well as lots of rights and cultural nods to gay culture. Madrid recognizes gay marriages and openly uses LGBTQ lifestyles to influence trendy shops, restaurants, and hotels throughout the city. It’s one of the most progressive cities when it comes to gay rights in the world, and that shows in their laws, party scene, and every other corner of life.

The Cage (a popular fetish bar) is always a perfect place to head for a laugh or even something a tad more serious, but Space of Sound is one of my favorite hangouts for the go-go boys and total party vibe. Park it at Medea for the city’s oldest lesbian bar and don’t forget to leave plenty of time for a sauna experience—the Sauna Octopus is a must for every visitor! For a bonus into the city, I suggest downloading apps such as Grindr and Manhunt if outdoor cruising and sex parties are your thing (grab a Virtual Private Network for your phone to make sure the geolocation functions are working correctly)!

  1. Miami, Florida

Miami - pixabay

Take one look at the hot bods and it’s obvious why Miami is a gay capital of the world—but more than just being a place to get hot and sweaty out in the open, Miami flourishes with culture and happenings that accept all flavors of ice cream (if you pardon my expression).

While I think a stop at the topless-optional South Beach is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I also suggest Da Leo Trattoria, for an excellent meal. Don’t miss out on Twist either for a run around the dance floor and then a relaxing evening on the roof for a drink and an overlook of the city that likes to party all night long.

Any city is a great place for the LGBTQ community to travel, but these picks are a specific brand of cultural richness that will just hit all the right notes, so enjoy!

Have any suggestions on where to head after finishing this list? Leave a comment or a next trip itinerary, and I will personally take the recommendation around for a ride!

About the Author: Cassie Phillips is an active tech guru, digital nomad, and wordsmith discovering the world as readily as she explores obscure depths of the internet. Curious about anything and everything, she loves her cat, her coffee, and her growing photography collection. Ask her about her famous Birthday Cake Pancakes recipe or her one-time run in with Ben Affleck and JLO—both stories are likely to leave you in disbelief!

All photos from pixabay, provided by Cassie Phillips

Gay Cuba

Author: , April 17th, 2016

Cuba

We all have been reading the buzz around visiting Cuba. The questions we all have are:

Cuba

  • Is it really legal to go?
  • Can I go with my lover/partner/spouse and feel comfortable traveling as an LGBTIQA couple?
  • Can I travel single and have a great time?
  • Is it still affordable to visit Cuba?
  • Is Cuba safe?

The answers are all a definite yes!!!!

IMG_1891Thanks to the new loosening of travel restrictions from the USA and the recent advances in LGBTIQA equality…now is the time. To experience the architecture and energy of Havana is amazing. Music comes at you from ever cafe and corner. The architecture is both crumbling and being restored and is amazing.

The best and most secure way to visit is to have a Gay tour guide to show you around. Be sure to book a hotel or ” Casa Particular” that is gay welcoming. A “Casa Particular” is usually someone’s home that they have restored to rent to people from outside of Cuba. Not only are you living with and having breakfast with locals but they can also offer you all kinds of ideas on travel through out the Island.

Cuba - Sydney

Photo by Sydney Coatsworth

If gay politics and issues are your thing then Outincuba also employs one of Cuba’s most active LGBTIQA activists that can show you how the great strides in equality are happening today. Below you will find a list of some great resources for info on traveling to Cuba. Remember that you are not going to lay around on the beach… you are going to experience and learn about one of the worlds most vibrant and interesting cultures.

Working with a gay owned tour and travel company is the best bet that you will find all the rooms you have reserved and also find the best gay welcoming locations to spend your hard earned free time and money.

Charles Kimball of www.OutInCuba.co has Cuban family in Cuba and has spent time there vetting guides and locations that are LGBTIQA friendly and welcoming. The tour guides will meet you with a smile and welcome at the Havana airport and walk you through changing money and off you go in an old 50s taxi to your new home in Havana. Your guide and new friend will take you on a walking tour of Old Havana. If you would like to see “Gay Havana” by night then go out and experience the LGBTIQA culture from a Gay perspective.

Last photo by Sydney Coatsworth