IGLTA-UNWTO Report on LGBT Tourism
The United Nations World Tourism Organization unveiled its first report on LGBT tourism on 19 January, 2012 during FITUR, Spain's leading international tourism trade fair. Created in partnership with IGLTA, the 40-page "Global Report on LGBT Tourism" includes case studies and commentaries documenting the economic and social impact of LGBT travel. In November 2011, IGLTA became the first gay organization accepted as an Affiliate Member of the UNWTO. This project underscores the increased demand among destinations for information on the LGBT market.
The Changing Face of Gay and Lesbian Travel
Gay travel is a lot different than it was 25 years ago. More gays and lesbians are out, getting married, and are interested in vacationing with friends and family. This is a great opportunity for the travel market because there are customers with gay family members or friends who would like to vacation together.
Certainly some destinations have led the way in improving the lives of gays and lesbians, and have incorporated a give-back element, where travelers experienced the beauty of these destinations first-hand while also contributing to the improvement of the local communities.
The next generation in gay travel will see an expansion in the offer of custom tailored itineraries of which customers will be mostly gay and lesbian but which will attract a larger share of welcoming friends and family.
Five Gay Travel Trends for 2012
In a recent article by Curtis Kowalski some trends were noted for taking travel a step further in enriching experiences and maximizing vacation time.
Digital detoxactually allows one to gain the most from one’s vacation in 2012 and release the built up stress by unplugging from e-mails and smart phones. When travelling, although rarely are we really “off” from our 24/7 access to communication systems, the key is finding the right destination that fulfills the individual concept of relaxation without suffering from panic anxiety at the least sign of spotty cell reception .
Smaller, more intimate experiential cruises are making a big comeback, especially river cruises. Renovated vessels offer modern, luxurious amenities and personalized service along intriguing itineraries with stops at ports that simply cannot host the larger cruise ships. As a bonus, cruising happens to be one of the best (and cheapest) ways to experience a few different locations during one vacation. Whether it be two neighboring cities, or perhaps even two different countries, the Caribbean, the Baltics, the Mediterranean or Asia are all options. He suggests that should you think you can navigate the geography on your own, you could also rent a car from your first point and stop along the way at unplanned cities and attractions. If you’re in London, try visiting a few of the smaller UK cities like the charming Cotswold region or Brighton in the US start in Portland and drive along the Northwest ridge to visit Seattle and perhaps even Vancouver within the same itinerary.
Further thinking outside the box of traditional destinations like the Caribbean and major cities like Paris, London and Rome which are still among the top choices for many travelers, 2012 is definitely also the year to expand your horizons. Emerging destinations in Europe, travelers could include Crotia. This destination has it all from beautiful beaches along the Dalmatian Coast, historical sites, and great nightlife. Singapore, Beirut, South Africa and Peru are also destinations that should be on everyone’s list this year.
Travelers want more from their vacations - a skill, a stronger memory, something tangible, and are even staying in destinations longer to have a true "local" experience. They now look to excursions for experiences like an elephant safari, learning to cook true Indian fare from a local expert, or glimpsing into their future during an exclusive astrology training consultation using the destination’s ancient methods. Travelers have also been known to take cheese-making classes in Italy, learn how to string a Persian rug in Turkey and study the art of pastry in France.
And finally he mentions the revival in the trend of using travel agents as a great way to get the most value from vacations as Agencies have access to deals and rates that wouldn’t be possible for consumers to find elsewhere. Plus, relationships with hotels, cruises and tour companies help score upgrades.
Destination Maui: Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort is Hawaii's largest gay owned and operated resort, welcoming all but, catering primarily to the LGBT traveler.
Right on the warm sunny South shore in Kihei, the Sunseeker is perfect for such gorgeous ocean views. They entice daily morning beach walks. Or enjoy new found friends on the rooftop deck while drinking in the romantic sunsets. One well known travel reporter characterized the Sunseeker as Four Seasons quality at very affordable prices.
The resort has a clothing optional swimming pool and jacuzzi, free Wi-fi and many other amenities. Junior Suites and above have well appointed gourmet kitchens where you can prepare your fresh local finds.
Current Special 'til August 30 Stay 5 Nights, Get 6th Free
FDA approves first pill to help prevent HIV
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection, a milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS.
The agency approved Gilead Sciences’ pill Truvada as a preventive measure for people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV through sexual activity, such as those who have HIV-infected partners.
Public health advocates say the approval could help slow the spread of HIV, which has held steady at about 50,000 new infections per year for the last 15 years. An estimated 1.2 million Americans have HIV, which develops into AIDS unless treated with antiviral drugs. With an estimated 240,000 HIV carriers unaware of their status, doctors and patients say new methods are needed to fight the spread of the virus.
Last year another study found that Truvada reduced infection by 75 percent in heterosexual couples in which one partner was infected with HIV and the other was not. Because Truvada is on the market to manage HIV, some doctors already prescribe it as a preventive measure. FDA approval will allow Gilead Sciences to formally market the drug for that use, which could dramatically increase prescribing.
Truvada’s groundbreaking preventive ability has exposed disagreements about managing the disease among those in the HIV community. Groups including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation asked the FDA to reject the new indication, saying it could give patients a false sense of security and reduce the use of condoms, the most reliable preventive measure against HIV.
But FDA scientists said there was no indication from clinical trials that Truvada users were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior.
"What was found was that condom use increased over time and sexually transmitted infections either remained at baseline levels or decreased," said Dr. Debra Birnkrant, FDA’s director of antiviral products. "So in essence, we don’t have any strong evidence that condoms were not used or there was a decrease in condom use."
Legendary Danube Riverboat Cruise - August 21- AAugus - - August 21 to August 30, 2012
Prague – Karlovy Vary – Nuremberg, Germany – Regensburg – Linz, Austria – Melk – Durnstein – Vienna – Bratislava, Slovakia – Budapest,Hungary
10-day tour starting in Prague, then cruising from picturesque Nuremburg to Passau, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava ending in Budapest - on an all-gay charter aboard the beautiful and innovative new MS AmaCerto .We start with a tour in Prague, where we explore and enjoy two days in one of Europe's most beautiful cities. We'll join the MS AmaCerto in Nuremberg and travel through the Bavarian forests of Germany to Regensberg and Passau, for an optional excursion to Salzburg and then continue along the Danube to Linz; to Melk; and then two evenings and two full days in Vienna. From here we will continue down the Danube to the historic capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. Then, conclude your European river cruise vacation in vibrant Budapest, a famous haven for musicians, writers and artists. Arrival in Budapest concludes your European river cruise vacation. Budapest is an amazing city with new adventures around every corner. Spend an additional day or two and experience one of the many spas that the city has been famous for since Roman times. (Optional two night extension available.)
Ocean view $2979 Balcony Junior $3279 Outside Balcony $3729
All prices in U.S. dollars and are cruise/land only . Price is per person based on double occupancy. Port fees of $147 are additional. Recommended gratuities of $135 are paid on-board.
Ireland Countryside & Dublin
September 16 - September 23, 2012 : Single $2274 Double $1700
8-day boutique escorted tour takes you across Ireland's scenic countryside bringing you up close and personal with the cuisine, culture, and locals. Experience the rural beauty of the Island in great company. In Dublin we'll help you get your footings with a city tour so you'll know the general sites and gay-specific things to do when you strike out on your own in this exceptional city on the Green Isle.
7 nights hotel accommodation.
Private motor coach for touring and excursions per the itinerary.
Services of professional driver, local guides and assistants for services per the itinerary.
Sightseeing and entrance fees per the itinerary.
Service charges and taxes.
NOT INCLUDED IN SERVICES:
Airfare to and from Ireland.
Tips and gratuities.
Items of a personal nature.
For more information – firstname.lastname@example.org
val in Budapest concludes your European river cruise vacation. Budapest is an amazing city with new adventures around every corner. Spend an additional day or two and experience one of the many spas that the city has been famous for since Roman times. (Optional two night extension available.)
Florida's luxury hotel scene is constantly evolving, and I have some diverse new hotels to share with you for your summer vacation planning, everywhere from Miami Beach to the gorgeous Gulf Coast. Herewith, a few recent luxury finds that are top of mind:
The Villa by Barton G: Miami restauranteur extraordinaire Barton G. Weiss is now at the helm of South Beach's most sophisticated and stunning address. Italian designer Gianni Versace's former mansion has been reincarnated as the Villa by Barton G, and the mosaic and fountain-studded interior feels like something straight ouf of Moorish fantasy. You're right on Ocean Drive here, a stone's throw from Florida's most-beautiful-people-ever beach, but the hotel's atmosphere could not feel more deliciously far flung.
Postcard Inn on the Beach: Surfer chic meets bohemian-inspired elegance at this trendsetting new hotel in St. Pete Beach. There's something European in the minimalist retro decor and down-filled duvets that billow crispy white on the beds, but surf-inspired touches everywhere stay true to the hotel's true blue Florida roots.
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa: The newest luxury resort on Florida's Gulf Coast opened in Feb. 2010. I had a chance to check in recently, and absolutely loved the fact that every room here is a suite, with full kitchen facilities and a balcony! All the better to settle in for a while and enjoy Clearwater's revitalized Beach Walk promenade, just out the front the door, and the nearby sugar sand beaches on Caladesi Island State Park.
Hotel Urbano: What's more green than taking an aging property and reinventing it as something stylish and utterly fabulous? That's what happened at Hotel Urbano, a former Hampton Inn that got reincarnated as a hip new boutique hotel in downtown Miami's Brickell neighborhood. For an urban stay that's wallet-friendly, luxurious and stylish, too, this is my favorite Miami pick.
Boca Beach Club: If it's been a while since you've been to beautiful Boca Raton, it's high time to get back. The stately Boca Raton Resort & Club here recently gave rise to a style child in the form of its new oceanfront property, the Boca Beach Club. Minimalist decor, sleek infinity pools and a direct oceanfront setting will ensure you never want to check out. Rates start from $249 when you book the Best of Boca Summer Package here, which includes free daily breakfast, free beach umbrella rentals, free parking, late checkout of 2 p.m. and much more.