Over 150 VIP attendees, comprised of worldwide destination, travel and tourism professionals, gathered to honor the 15 award winners. Plus, YouTube celebrity Davey Wavey also made a special appearance–with his shirt on–to mingle with guests.
Several of the award winners were also in attendance at the event, which was held in partnership with Community Marketing and Insight’s 17th annual LGBTQ tourism conference.
This year, in addition to the 12 fan-voted awards, GayCities introduced two new honorary awards for the ‘City of the Year’ and ‘Innovator of the Year.’ These special honors went to the city of Orlando for its compassion and resiliency in the wake of the Pulse Nightclub massacre, and to Richard Gray of Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for creating the first destination marketing program for the transgender community.
“Orlando has long been an inclusive destination for everyone to make incredible memories with those they love, and we are exceptionally honored that our community is receiving this award,” said George Aguel, Chief Executive Officer and President of Visit Orlando, the official organization that represents the destination’s tourism industry. “Our city faced an unimaginable tragedy, and we have been humbled by the incredible outpouring of support we received from people all over the world — for Orlando both as a community and as a cherished travel destination. We are grateful for how the LGBTQ community has wholeheartedly embraced us.”
Find out who won in the full list of winners below.
Plus, get a sneak peak of photos from the event at the end of the article, then check out the entire photo gallery over on GayCities.
And here’s a sneak peak of some of the photos from the Best of GayCities 2016 reception at the W Los Angeles.