Gay and Lesbian Tourism

1st Edition

The Essential Guide for Marketing

Authors: Jeff Guaracino
Paperback ISBN: 9780750682329
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 23rd October 2007
Page Count: 208


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This unique introductory resource provides a broad foundation of knowledge on the gay and lesbian market segment. Topics and themes are illustrated by interviewing the top professionals in gay travel and gay media who share their experience, tips for success and future predictions. Packed with best case examples and practices of existing gay tourism initiatives and campaigns, this engaging text provides analysis and context that addresses some of the burning questions in this area, including the potential negative consumer and stakeholder reaction, and strategies to educate the local hospitality community.

Key Features

  • The only book to offer a comprehensive foundation of knowledge for marketers on the gay and lesbian travel consumer
  • Provides a current and comprehensive survey of research
  • Offers a practical approach from the industry's top experts in gay tourism


PRIMARY: Industry practitioners, consultants, government tourism authorities, undergraduates in tourism courses, advertising and marketing professionals in tourism industries, national, regional, state and local tourism authorities. SECONDARY: Students in tourism and destination marketing

Table of Contents

IX. Introduction to gay and lesbian tourism This chapter will provide an overview of the gay and lesbian tourism market. The chapter will dispel myths of gay consumers and define the gay tourism segment as leisure, group, convention and business. The impact on travel agents, hotels, cruise lines and destinations will be discussed. Most importantly, an argument will be presented that the market is actually two distinct segments: gay men and lesbians.

X. Research: The demographic and economic profile This section will present the economic and demographic profile of the gay and lesbian travelers by presenting ground-breaking travel research information and analysis from: the Travel Industry of America (limited), Community Marketing, Inc., LPI Media, two Philadelphia studies, in addition to the consumer power of gay and lesbian consumers from Witek-Combs. This chapter will also present the barriers to gathering marketing information on gays and lesbians from traditional research resources including the U.S. Census, Longwoods, D.K. Shifflet, Global Insight, Neilson and Scarboro research firms. Illustrations will include graphs, charts and tables. The author will interview experts in gay tourism research from the previously listed firms.

XI. What makes a destination or travel product gay-friendly? What does it mean to be gay-friendly? The section will discuss defining the reader’s tourism product. It will ask the reader to candidly assess their gay-friendly hotels, gay festivals and mainstream events. The chapter will also address taking a mainstream travel product and making it gay-friendly. The chapter will discuss the various segments including outdoors, cruises and resorts. The author will interview Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and Charlie Rounds, founder of RSVP Cruises. Illustrations: pictures of Women’s Week in


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About the Author

Jeff Guaracino

Jeff Guaracino heads the regional communications and is an expert in gay tourism marketing programs for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC). The Philadelphia Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay™ campaign has been recognized by two industries (travel and public relations) with “best of the year awards” for consumer marketing and public relations. GPTMC’s gay tourism marketing campaign features a ground-breaking television commercial and has earned Philadelphia $10 million in publicity. Guaracino also oversees the Hispanic and Canadian public relations efforts for GPTMC. Previously, Guaracino served as director of communications for the Franklin Institute, (Philadelphia’s premier science museum) and prior to that, was communications associate CBS, Inc. and public relations manager at the AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey. Active in the community, he serves as a marketing and public relations consultant to a number of regional organizations where he specializes in crisis communications and marketing. He serves on the board of the William Way GLBT Community Center. He is also a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and served on the host committee for the national convention in September 2002. Guaracino is a graduate of Rowan University and has studied at Temple University. He resides in Philadelphia, PA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Head of regional communications and an expert in gay tourism marketing programs for the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC)


“If you are even thinking of navigating the ever-growing gay travel market, Guaracino’s book is your must-have marketing roadmap. Gay and Lesbian Tourism is chockablock with actionable advice from the pioneers in gay travel, who will help you avoid all-too-common pitfalls and position your gay tourism campaign for success.” Ed Salvato, Editor in Chief, The Out Traveler Corporate Director, Travel Media at Planet Out Inc. “We applaud Jeff Guaracino and his efforts to provide companies news to the GLBT market with a guide for market success. In 2006, we were able to track well over $5 million in business from the gay and lesbian community, and we know that number is much higher if you count community members that have not yet identified themsevles through our customer loyalty programs.” Michael Depatie & Niki Leondakis, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants “Marketers must not forget that people want to be invited. For gay and lesbian travelers who aren’t sure if they are going to be welcomed for who they are, an invitation is definitely needed.” Meryl Levitz, President and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation “Gay and lesbian tourism is a global business and the competition is growing rapidly for GLBT meetings, conventions, sporting competitions and leisure visitors. Investing in a smart marketing program can enhance your image in the world marketplace and give your destination an advantage.” Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and CEO, Tourisme Montréal, Chairperson of the CTC Board of Directors Gay and lesbian consumers comprise a powerful emerging segment that serious travel marketers cannot ignore. Central to our success in marketing to gay and lesbian travelers has been a core belief that policies of fairness and inclusion must be consistent, both inside and outside our c