At the most recent gathering of LGBT Confex, Mexico’s largest business convention focused on the LGBT market, the mood turned buoyant when topics of travel and tourism arose. “There is greater visibility because of the civil rights that are being won in this country,” said Ruben Sandoval, CEO and founder, LGBT Confex. “Businesses and destinations are preparing for this segment. They’re training and they’re sensitizing themselves to it. It’s not just about placing an advertisement; it’s about what you do internally and how you treat your employees.”
Indeed, the nation furthered its increasingly gay-friendly stance in 2015 when Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled the definition of marriage as a union only between a man and a woman violates Mexico’s constitution.
Tourism offices, business owners and hoteliers now turn their focus to LGBT travelers as never before in Mexico. Major sponsors at LGBT Confex, for example, included Marriott International, Jose Cuervo and tourism officials from the state of Yucatán, the location of the 2015 event (the 2016 edition will take place in October in Mexico City).
“The World Tourism Organization says that the LGBT segment is growing 10 percent every year, while the [mainstream] segment is growing 4.7 percent,” said Araceli Ramos, director of promotion and public relations, Jose Cuervo, adding the LGBT segment “is the greatest investment and target at this moment” for the tourism market. Jose Cuervo is banking on LGBT travelers to drive traffic to Mundo Cuervo, a tequila-oriented tourism attraction the company operates in the state of Jalisco, birthplace of tequila.
A look at the member listings of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association also reveals a sizeable number of LGBT-friendly businesses and organizations in Mexico — including Aeromexico and the tourism offices of Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. When it comes to hotels, the list is much larger; properties that aim to attract LGBT vacationers and business travelers include the Hyatt Regency, Omni, Paradisus, Le Blanc Spa Resort and Sun Palace in Cancún; Sandos Finisterra and ME Cabo in Los Cabos; and Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa and Grand Hyatt in Playa del Carmen.
While Mexico City may be the heart of LGBT Mexico (as the first major Latin American city to legalize same-sex marriage), Puerto Vallarta arguably ranks as the highest-profile gay travel destination for foreign visitors, thanks in no small part to its large portfolio of LGBT hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Puerto Vallarta’s website features a section of LGBT-friendly venues in its nightlife directory. Vallarta Pride, the annual gay pride event scheduled for May 17–28, expanded into a 12-day event with a variety of entertainment options and a festive parade.
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla is opening its acclaimed doors Oct. 22 to celebrate its fifth and most exciting season. The resort will introduce new programming including culinary, fitness and music.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Seabourn recently announced the name of its second new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship: Seabourn Pursuit. The name reflects the passion of expedition travelers to seek out and explore natural wonders and destinations through activities around the globe.
Though the Chicago area has been my home for decades, the view from the Water Tower Suite on the 26th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago made me gasp. I had admired Chicago’s dramatic skyline many times, but never from this angle. Through expansive windows, the skyscrapers of 900 N. Michigan Ave. and the John Hancock Center, now named 875 North Michigan Avenue, rose to my right. Far below, the landmark Chicago Water Tower nestled in a ring of trees. One of the few survivors of the Great Chicago Fire, a turning point in the city’s history being remembered on its 150th anniversary in 2021, the Gothic Revival relic resembled a fairy-tale castle in a children’s playset.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
President Biden signed H.R. 2278, bipartisan legislation to designate a September 11th National Memorial Trail. The trail route will link the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York; the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia; and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In April 2021, I was skimming Facebook when an ad for a blind-folded dining experience popped up on my newsfeed. The event was hosted through a company called Fever that offers fun, interactive events in major cities and virtually for people to enjoy. Intrigued, I clicked the link to learn more. The description made the event sound exciting and mysterious. When I give someone a present for their birthday, the holidays or a wedding, I like to give the gift of an experience that the recipient can learn something from. My boyfriend’s 30th birthday was in June, when the event was to be hosted, so I thought this would be a great surprise for him.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Austin, Texas, with us.