Sunny Skies: Fort Lauderdale Ups Commitment To LGBT Travel

fort lauderdaleOne of America’s first actively gay-friendly tourism destinations is redoubling its focus on LGBT travelers for the new year.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has appointed its first-ever dedicated director for the LGBT market: Richard Gray, a fixture on the hospitality scene.

As owner of Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Gray became the official gay liaison to the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB in 1996, and, in 2007, the first openly gay appointee to the Broward County Tourist Development Council.

In his new role, Gray will target LGBT travelers, who now enjoy a plethora of options for international travel. “Having a full-time person for the gay market gives us an edge,” Gray said in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel.  His new strategy will include attracting groups and promoting special events, such as May’s BeachBear Weekend, now in its third year.

Gray also plans to update the way Fort Lauderdale markets to gay travelers:. “Social media has definitely taken the forefront, as has guerrilla marketing,” he said. “We’re going to attend the Gay Pride Parade in New York City. We’ll have gorgeous hot guys in our beach mobile, handing out giveaways like ‘Sunny’ wrist bands.” “Sunny” is a reference to Fort Lauderdale’s official “Hello Sunny” slogan. Last October, the CVB debuted one of the world’s first nationwide tourism commercials to integrate LGBT elements.



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  • RomanHans

    Sodomy is still illegal in Florida. The state constitution bans both same-sex marriages and civil unions. In Florida you can be fired from your job if your employer finds out you’re gay and doesn’t like it.

    Me, I stay away from places where I’m not wanted.

  • yaoming

    I am happy to correct RomanHans by reporting that since 2003 (Supreme Court: Lawrence v. Texas), sodomy has been legal in all 50 states and territories, including Florida.

  • RomanHans

    @yaoming: I am happy to correct yaoming by reporting that sodomy is illegal in Florida. The U.S. Supreme Court held that laws against sodomy were unconstitutional, so they cannot be enforced. However, in some states (including Florida) the laws are still on the books, which means sodomy is still illegal.

  • FStratford


    What are you smoking? The laws on the books were declared unconstitutional and unenforceable. That means that sodomy is now allowed in Florida, whether or not there were laws against it before the supremes invalidated them.

  • ncman

    @FStratford: @RomanHans: @yaoming:

    Let me help you guys out. The unconstitutional laws are still on the books here in NC too. What it means is that the cops can still arrest you just for the sake of harassing you. They can even book you and toss you in jail. But, the case will get thrown out of court when it gets there because the law is unconstitutional. This scenario has happened.

  • yaoming

    Good thing I live in Washington where sodomy, marijuana and gay marriage are all legal.

  • Spike

    @RomanHans: OMG OMG OMG, is this true?!!? If so, where are all the resident trolls and why aren’t the condemning Atlantis Cruises for having itineraries that originate from Florida?!!? I mean how insane, why would any gay man consider booking a cruise that originates or visits a port that would arrest them for butt fucking?!!?

    Where is the rage against Atlantis and Rich Campbell??? Where are the calls for boycotts???

  • stadacona

    Florida eww. Won’t be spending a nickel in that flat, featureless shite-hole. And whatever happened to Ft. Lauderdale’s gay-hating mayor?

Comments are closed.