Ask most travelers to name the top LGBT travel destinations in the United States, and Fort Lauderdale will likely appear near the top of the list. After all, this Florida vacation paradise spent years carving its role as a favored getaway for LGBT travelers — especially gay men. And the destination is aiming for an even more diverse appeal within this segment, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, which bills itself as the “only CVB in North America with a designated LGBTQ department.”
“The rainbow flag flies loud and proud in Broward County, and we are committed to welcoming all segments of the LGBTQ community, as we always have and will continue to for years to come,” said Richard Gray, LGBTQ managing director, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Greater Fort Lauderdale received some 1.5 million LGBT visitors in 2014, according to the CVB. And the destination is expanding its efforts to appeal to a more diverse variety of LGBT travelers; the CVB commissioned surveys to learn more about the travel habits of LGBT families as well as transgender travelers.
The destination packs in a lot of attractions and activities of interest to LGBT travelers: It’s home to the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, which focuses on LGBT history and culture; the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, described as the world’s first museum dedicated to the topic; and the global headquarters of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, the world’s largest LGBT travel association.
Many of the LGBT businesses and activities center around Wilton Manors, actually a separate city. Dotted with a variety of LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly bars, restaurants and stores, Wilton Drive also hosts events like Art Expo, which takes place on the third Saturday of every month between November and April, and Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride, which takes place in mid-June. Another big event — the 26th annual Southern Comfort Conference, the nation’s largest transgender conference — takes place Sept. 26–Oct. 1 at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa.
Southwest Airlines is cutting almost 20 non-stop routes as of January 2020. The airline says the move will allow it to focus its efforts on top destinations. The airline announced the move last month, with flights from Boston (BOS), Dallas Love Field (DAL), Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO) seeing the most cuts.
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.
Mandarin Oriental, Geneva now offers its Royal Penthouse suite, one of the largest in the city at nearly 3,500 square feet, with an additional 1,800-square-foot terrace.
For any traveler interested in backcountry camping, wilderness exploration or any other type of outdoor adventure, REI now offers a wilderness safety training course to the general public. The programming is in partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School, takes place on weekends and is “ideal for all outdoor enthusiasts.”
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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).
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.
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.