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Lesbian Mayor Helps Turn Houston into a Gay Hot Spot


Mayor Annise Parker's election late last year has helped the city's advertising campaign succeed. The campaign features "My Gay Houston" ads that have helped transform the city into an LGBT hot spot.

According to Edge, the campaign was in the making for several years and the ads feature gay Houstonians in print advertisements and on a web site.

"We're proud of what our city offers in arts, sports with our food scene and retail. We can back up our destination against anybody else's," said Greg Ortale, CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The gay community in Houston has always been a fairly significant population. When people come here to visit, I think they found that out and quite often I think that was a surprise."

Edge also spoke with
Jeff Vasser, president of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority, about how his city is revamping efforts to market to the LGBT community.

"We've always been a very open and welcoming community," Vasser said. "I think you have to have that to start with. You can offer whatever amenities you want, but it won't work otherwise."

John Tanzella, CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, said any LGBT destination needs to make an effort to win over the community and added that political victories do play a publicity role.

"You don't have to have a million gay bars to be a gay destination," Tanzella said. "I think when [a destination] is in the media and grabs people's attention for political reasons, it brings home their point of being 'gay friendly' and people will think about it. And if that destination is actually doing marketing to gay travelers, it can very easily then become a destination they want to visit."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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