Greater Fort Lauderdale has become an undisputed leader with lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender residents and tourists. Home to the most same-sex couples in the country and a top LGBT resort beach town, this new gay capital welcomed a record-breaking 1.3 million LGBT visitors in 2013 spending $1.48 billion.
Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, announced the destination's success as a gay capital of the U.S. during the CMI 14th Conference on LGBT Tourism & Hospitality, attended by several hundred tourism professionals, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort & Spa in December.
"Yellow is indeed the new pink, with the golden sunshine of Greater Fort Lauderdale spreading across the globe, attracting more same-sex couples than anywhere else in the country and making us the first choice as an LGBT resort destination," Grossman said. "LGBT marketing is a major priority in Greater Fort Lauderdale and I am proud we are the first CVB in the country to have a dedicated department, staff and marketing dollars to spread ‘the rainbow rays of sunshine' to the LGBT community."
In 2012, Greater Fort Lauderdale appointed the only designated tourism board LGBT managing director, Richard Gray, a pioneer in the field of LGBT travel marketing. For the first time, Greater Fort Lauderdale's 30 second mainstream TV spot incorporates LGBT visuals. Through dedicated promotional activities and events, including the CVB's first appearance in New York City's annual Pride March in 2013, and with a strong partnership with the local LGBT community, the CVB has secured its place at the top of important LGBT rankings.
In addition to having the most same-sex couples in the country (followed by Portland and San Francisco), Greater Fort Lauderdale is recognized as Florida's largest and most popular diverse gay capital with the largest resident lesbian and gay community and the most gay-owned and operated businesses in the state. It is also the 7th most popular outright LGBT travel destination.
Wilton Manors, named "2013 Gayborhood of the Year" by Man About World, will be home to the World Aids Museum when it opens in February, while the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale will soon to be endorsed by the Smithsonian.
The GFLCVB team will be on the road participating in New York City Pride (June) and the PTown Bear Week (July). Additional events held in Greater Fort Lauderdale including an Evening in Paradise (Feb. 22), South Florida Pride Fest (March), Beach Bear Weekend (May 7-12), Stonewall Pride (June), Wicked Manor Halloween (Oct. 31), World Aids Day Candlelight Vigil (Dec.) and the 3rd Annual Evening in Paradise will draw LGBT travelers flocking to the destination ready to celebrate, spend, and come back again and again every year.
For more information, please visit www.sunny.org/lgbt.