Published on May 21st, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut
LGBT Week Showcases Gay Friendly Latin America
Last week, dozens of travel and tourism industry insiders gathered for LGBT Week, a multi-day conference. And during the third annual Symposium on LGBT Tourism & Hospitality, which is one component of the week, an entire morning was dedicated to vacation destinations that are gay friendly. It was an interesting chance to catch up on the latest news and find out which destinations are welcoming LGBT dollars.
(Also worth noting is the upcoming LGBT Confex, which takes place in Bogotá this week, and where I’m speaking — with a variety of tourism and travel organizations taking part, it’s a sign of how Colombia is moving forward as a viable and attractive LGBT travel destination, too.)
• Argentina: The Argentina Ministry of Tourism, a major sponsor of the event, had lots to talk about. Pablo De Luca and Gustavo Noguera, who run the Network360 conference in Buenos Aires, have played a big part in keeping Argentina on the LGBTQ travel map, while Marcelo Costa, the tourism office’s tourism director, noted the organization’s goal to make Argentina the number one LGBT travel destination in Latin America. Fernando Amer, who works on international marketing for Turismo Buenos Aires, said that “we are passionate about soccer, tango and beef. But we are also passionate about human rights.”
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• Brazil: Miguel Jeronimo, director of the Brazilian tourism office in New York City, noted that this South American nation is celebration the fourth anniversary of same-sex marriage being legal. The Brazil beach destination of Rio de Janeiro is legendary with LGBT travelers, and the nation’s largest city, São Paulo, hosts the world’s largest LGBT pride celebration every year.
• Chile: Freddy Yacobucci, director of the Santiago-based marketing and communications firm ONYNETWORK, unveiled what he said is the first LGBT-focused tourism video produced by the Chilean chamber of commerce. With its sophisticated capital and variety of noteworthy regions – from the wineries and ski resorts to the desert, Patagonia and Easter Island — Chile is bound to increase its profile with well-traveled LGBT globe trotters.
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• Puerto Vallarta: Nathalie Pilovetzky, CEO of the public relations firm Latitude International, provided valuable insight about the strategy that helps to publicize Puerto Vallarta’s role as Mexico‘s biggest LGBT vacation destination for international travelers. In addition to its array of LGBT-friendly and gay hotels, gay bars and gay beach, Puerto Vallarta hosts LGBT events including Vallarta Pride, which takes place every year in May.