City Launches Aggressive Marketing Effort to Lure Gay Tourism in 2009

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Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday NYC & Company, the city's tourism marketing agency, launched a campaign to lure more gay and lesbian visitors to New York. An estimated one-tenth of the city's tourist dollars come from LGBT visitors, according to the group, and New York is the country's No. 1 gay destination. The "Rainbow Pilgrimage Campaign" will be tied to the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, during which gays staged an impromptu rebellion against police persecution in Greenwich Village.

This got us to thinking. If only there were a less expensive way to lure these tourists to the city. Something that wouldn't cost anything, perhaps! Like, if only we could come up with a way to get gay couples to come here, and invite all their friends to stay at our hotels, eat in our restaurants, and see our sights. Maybe we could get some traditionally gay businesses involved, too — like florists, designers, event planners, and caterers. Something like that could totally engender a good feeling about New York to LGBT people and their allies all over the country!

And maybe then we wouldn't need to spend so much money on creative marketing campaigns, or tricks to lure gay couples here rather than, say, Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts, or Connecticut. In these tough economic times, it's really too bad our city and state government hasn't come up with a solution like that. It would do us all some good.

Stonewall Uprising Given Role in Tourism Campaign [NYT]