BACK IN 2017, the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s buyer survey named Israel one of the top two emerging LGBTQ+ destinations. Today Tel Aviv, the nation’s center for business, entertainment and the arts, continues to cement its role as a hub for sophisticated travelers. If you’re looking to feel welcome in the Middle East, place Tel Aviv at the top of your list.
“Tel Aviv is a wonderful Israeli city as well as an international city,” said Ellen Shapiro, director of public relations, Israel Ministry of Tourism. “It is incredibly culturally diverse — like all of Israel — and has amazing food, culture, arts and museums. Add to that an unparalleled nightlife scene and a long stretch of beach on the Mediterranean, with great people-watching.”
Indeed, Israel’s prime Mediterranean location makes it a natural choice for sun worshippers; the stretch of sand near the Hilton Tel Aviv is the most popular with LGBTQ+ locals and visitors. After dark, Tel Aviv wows with weekly parties as well as an array of clubs and bars. These include Amazona, the city’s top lesbian bar; Apolo, a men’s dance club; and Shpagat, where the large dance floor fills with all types of night owls.
And then there’s pride. Tel Aviv is far and away the best place to celebrate LGBTQ+ pride in the Middle East; the event attracts more than 100,000 participants each June. A variety of festivals and events complement the parade itself, and past international ambassadors included Alan Cumming, Lea DeLaria, Perez Hilton and Andy Cohen.
A noteworthy part of the pride calendar every year is TLVFest, billed as the only LGBTQ+ film festival in the Middle East. It features screenings as well as panels and presentations with creative types from the international film industry.
LGBTQ+-friendly accommodations in Tel Aviv run the gamut, including luxury properties like the Hilton Tel Aviv, which sits near the gay-popular beach; the Miami-chic Setai Tel Aviv, a member of Leading Hotels of the World located in the ancient port city of Jaffa; and the stylish NYX Tel Aviv Hotel, set downtown near a variety of attractions and activities. In Tel Aviv, the rainbow welcome mat comes in many forms.
It’s entirely possible France’s most noteworthy eateries define the term “destination restaurant.” Examples of how some of the more enduring Paris restaurants have approached this is compelling. While hot spots like Le Drugstore changed with the times and tastes of clientele, others, like Café de la Paix, steadfastly stay true to the roots and recipes that have delighted guests for generations.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s staying power is rooted in the way it delivers continuity and consistency for long-time loyalists of the Grand Velas brand and anybody else seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience. One of Grand Velas’s hallmarks is its activities, amenities and restaurants across its three buildings can be enjoyed by all guests, enabling them to do the destination their way. This is particularly important when groups have different ideas of how they want to spend their vacation time.
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In 2025, Riviera River Cruises will launch two ships with sailing itineraries on Europe’s Danube and Douro rivers. Riviera Radiance will sail the Danube and offer six itineraries, including one exclusively for solo travelers, and three holiday itineraries. Riviera Rose will be based on the Douro River and sail one itinerary.
JetBlue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are some of the airlines now charging passengers more to check bags at the airport than to purchase the service online in advance. In an effort to cover higher costs, more airlines increased baggage fees in 2024.
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
Condor Airlines recently introduced Condor Cards, a membership program that allows frequent Condor passengers to receive additional benefits. The two card options include World Activity Card, tailored to the needs of sports enthusiasts, and World Family Card, offering benefits for families or friends traveling together on vacation.