LGBTQ+ EVENTS ARE A DRIVING FORCE for some travelers, providing an array of value-added experiences and activities to any vacation. And whether it’s pride, culture or sports, the LGBTQ+ event segment is in growth mode, as destinations up the ante with fresh offerings.
In 2018, for example, the Provincetown Business Guild produced the Massachusetts town’s first official pride celebration, and this year’s June celebration is likely to include similar activities — including a ferry ride, art exhibits and dance parties.
The highest-profile LGBTQ+ event this year in North America — and perhaps the globe — will likely be World Pride 2019, a global celebration coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall protests which hailed the start of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement in 1969. Some 3 million people are expected to attend and participate according to NYC & Company, the city’s tourism organization. Cultural and educational programming, designed to commemorate the Stonewall anniversary, will take place throughout the year, with the greatest concentration of activities in June.
LGBTQ+ sports fans, meanwhile, might want to put Europe on their itineraries for events including Eurogames, which takes place in July. This multisport event, hosted this year in Rome and operated by the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation, features lively competitions in categories ranging from basketball and volleyball to swimming and golf.
Also in the athletic vein, European Gay Ski Week takes place March 23–30 at Les Arcs, a skiing hot spot in the ski region called Paradiski. Events include lunches, group skiing, cabaret, club events and pool parties.
When it comes to parties, few annual events match the fabulousness of Life Ball Vienna, the May event that aims to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Big-name entertainment and a spectacular setting at the Vienna City Hall are among the draws, but the real appeal is Life Ball’s role as one of the continent’s top AIDS charity events.
Travelers can also connect with creativity around the globe, thanks to a variety of LGBTQ+ film festivals. In Los Angeles, a top choice is Outfest, which takes place in July, with screenings of short and feature films accompanied by panel discussions and parties, where there is surely no shortage of entertainment-oriented conversation topics.
As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.