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Tour Operators Launch LGBTQ+ Options for 2021

by Mark Chesnut

Feb 16, 2021

PHOTO: © OUT IN COLOMBIA

January/February 2021

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.”

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