Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Puts The "T" In Lgbt
Destination Marks Transgender Awareness Month with Announcement of Transgender Initiative
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (November 19, 2014) - With the objective of deeply understanding the travel needs of the transgender community, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) has launched a Transgender Travel Initiative. Furthering its efforts to best cater to all segments of the LGBT market, the CVB will focus on delivering an authentic welcoming experience for transgender visitors.
In August 2014, the GFLCVB commissioned the largest, first-ever survey of transgender travelers in North America, with the goal of identifying the travel motivations, needs and priorities of the market. The online research study about transgender travel issues and interests was conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based LGBT market research and communications specialist, and surveyed a total of 700 self-identified members of the transgender community across the United States.
Fort Lauderdale, the city with the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the U.S., is one of the country's most diverse gay capitals and continues to be a destination of choice for LGBT travelers with hundreds of gay-owned and operated businesses.
Through its Transgender Initiative, the GFLCVB is educating the community on ways to be more sensitive and authentic to the "T" in LGBT, with Broward County and the GFLCVB following transgender-inclusive best practices and training for GFLCVB members and area tourism/ hospitality leaders. As a result, the GFLCVB has organized and facilitated "roundtable" discussions with community leaders in Fort Lauderdale, and continues to host site visits for transgender media, journalists, and meeting organizers.
Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County is one of the most progressive counties in the State of Florida and features the first CVB with a dedicated department, staff and marketing dollars to support LGBT tourism. In 1996, the GFLCVB allocated funding for a gay marketing budget to create its first dedicated LGBT ad campaign, became the first Convention & Visitors Bureau with an LGBT-centric vacation planner and the first to have an LGBT website on a CVB homepage. Today, GFLCVB is also the first tourism marketing organization to integrate LGBT images and messaging into its mainstream marketing initiatives.
Under its "Where Happy Meets Go Lucky" image, Greater Fort Lauderdale has welcomed LGBT residents and visitors for almost two decades, barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, expression in employment, housing and lodging.
"We have long understood gay and lesbian travelers, but we recognize now is the time to emphasize the importance of the Transgender market and ensure it is not forgotten," said Richard Gray, managing director for the LGBT market at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We are excited to share our sunshine with even more of the LGBT community and to continue to better understand all the needs and interests of the Transgender traveler."
"The rainbow flag flies loud and proud in Broward County and we are committed to welcoming all segments of the LGBT community, as we always have and will continue to for years to come," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Transgender Initiative is already making a positive impact, with the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference deciding to bring its 2015, 2016 and 2017 conference to Greater Fort Lauderdale, after more than 24 years in Atlanta. www.sccfll.com
"Greater Fort Lauderdale is doing the right thing, at the right time for our community, said Lexi Dee, president of Southern Comfort Conference and leading Transgender advocate. "We believe with the progressive and welcoming vibe in the destination that we can see our conference grow year over year with this partnership."
Greater Fort Lauderdale was also recently named "Destination of the Year" by the 2014 ManAboutWorld Editors' Choice Awards, recognizing the very best in gay travel. In addition, Greater Fort Lauderdale features one of the largest Pride Centers in the country, the first and only World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, and is also home to the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, one of the only permanent spaces in the U.S. devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT history and culture.
For more information, please visit www.sunny.org/tlgb