Just like everyone else, LGBTQ+ travelers spent a lot of time at home in 2020. To entice them to travel again, tour operators up the ante with an array of new offerings.
Like all travel companies, tour operators that cater to the LGBTQ+ market adopted hygiene protocols designed to protect travelers, staff and the local communities. “You should definitely expect to wear face masks while out in public, and you’ll be offered hand sanitizer every time you enter an establishment,” said Sam Castañeda Holdren, owner, Out in Colombia. The Medellín-based LGBTQ+ tour operator debuted new offers ranging from weekend urban getaways to multiweek journeys around Colombia. “Restaurants might take your temperature when you first arrive, and they often provide a QR code for you to scan with your mobile phone to access the menu. But when you’re out hiking on a mountain trail or relaxing on the island resort, you can feel free to take your mask off and take a breath of fresh air.”
Travelers looking to make up for missing out on LGBTQ+ pride celebrations in 2020 may consider a trip with Contiki, which offers a 10-day Pride 2021 tour that celebrates pride in four European countries. The company also offers single-country pride event tours in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Madrid.
Farther north, Pink Iceland offers a new, women-only tour with Canadian partner Out Adventures and also debuts new destination wedding options, with a focus on elopements for couples who had to shelve plans for larger weddings due to the pandemic.
Also debuting new offers is VACAYA, an LGBTQ+ vacation company with 2021 programs such as a Halloween and Day of the Dead celebration in Playa del Carmen, Mexico; an eco-focused trip to Costa Rica; and cruises in Iceland, on the Mississippi River and in the Caribbean. The company also created an initiative called #AdaptToLive that aims to inspire travelers to come together and work through today’s challenges.
“Although the pandemic has been challenging, the human spirit won’t remain down for long,” said Patrick Gunn, the company’s co-founder and CMO. “VACAYA expects the 2021–2022 season to come thundering back as people begin to feel comfortable again.”
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
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.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.