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Houston Tourism Banking on Parker


Tourism officials in Houston hope that the election of lesbian mayor Annise Parker will increase the appeal of their city as a destination for gay visitors and other diversity-minded groups.

The Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau launched an online effort last month to attract LGBT visitors independent of the mayoral race, according to the Houston Chronicle.Parker's victory in the runoff election on December 12, in which the longtime controller was elected the leader of the fourth-largest city in the United States, would seem to sweeten Houston's prospects for becoming a top second-tier destination for LGBT travelers, in the league of Dallas or New Orleans.

Some of the potential visitors include gay and lesbian convention groups as well as other diversity-minded professional groups, such as social scientists and attorneys, according to the Chronicle.

Parker, who is not featured in the tourism bureau's current campaign, said she would be happy to participate if asked.

"I'm proud to market this city in any way I can," she told the Chronicle.

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