LGBTQ+ visitors and allies invited to enjoy the Los Angeles Experience
Los Angeles continues to be a leading travel destination that is celebrated for its diversity and inclusion. The city boasts numerous lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) attractions including guided walking tours, events and exhibitions that highlight issues like gender identity and celebrate the city’s rich LGBTQ+ heritage.
Staying true to their hallmark Everyone is Welcome campaign, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board recently invited seven media members from across the globe to partake in many of the immersive LGBTQ-friendly experiences the city has to offer. This innovative familiarization trip was designed to educate both international and domestic travellers on the unique attractions throughout the city. India was a crucial representative in this media trip as the country is the 3rd highest year-over-year international growth market for Los Angeles. In 2018, Los Angeles welcomed 130,000 visitors from India, an increase of 5.1% year-over-year.
The 4-day itinerary celebrated inclusivity, freedom and warmth that has become synonymous with the City of Angels. Highlights from the trip varied from exploring the hippest LGBTQ+ bars, gastropubs and restaurants in L.A. and West Hollywood, to viewing LGBTQ+ exhibits at Skirball Cultural Center, the Hollywood Museum and the new LGBT Center in Hollywood, as well as attending a show at the iconic Rockwell Table and Stage.
“We know LGBTQ travellers consider a destination’s inclusivity, safety and diversity during the travel planning process, and in Los Angeles, we are proud to say that Everyone is Welcome. In addition to the iconic visitor experiences Los Angeles is known for, like our thriving cultural and arts scenes, attractions like the Griffith Observatory or our sports teams, Los Angeles also presents a series of experiences that pay homage to LGBTQ+ history,” stated Ms. Jamie Foley, Vice President, Global Communications for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
According to the 2019 LGTBQ+ travel trends survey conducted by the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association Foundation (IGLTAF) in partnership with Airbnb, LGBTQ+ respondents are 11% more likely to travel to Los Angeles than their non-identifying counterparts. It is only natural that Los Angeles should be a destination of choice as, of the 1,100 LGBTQ+ community members that participated in the survey, 86% believe a destination’s policies toward those who identify are at least somewhat important when choosing to visit.
Los Angeles has a long history of acceptance and groundbreaking advancements in the LGBTQ movement, including one of the world’s initial LGBTQ parades in 1970. Visitors can visit historical monuments that played a key role in furthering the LGBTQ+ movement such as El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the Merced Theatre or the iconic Los Angeles City Hall, which housed the world’s first pro-LGBTQ+ political fundraising outfits. For the past 8 years, the city has celebrated June as LGBT Heritage Month and is home to annual events such as Gay Pride parades throughout the region, Halloween Costume Carnaval and Outfest. As home to one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the world, Los Angeles continues to invest in strategic efforts to spread the message of inclusivity.