News Sunshine State

Palm Beach Wants Gay Tourists

Written by Agenda Florida

PALM BEACH COUNTY — While Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami get most of the attention for vacationing LGBTs from around the globe, Palm Beach County is aggressively pursuing that gay tourist dollar.

According to an ad that ran in the Sunday New York Times travel section in which two men were sunning on a white sand beach, Palm Beach county is the new “in-spot” for same-sex marriages and honeymoons.

Well, perhaps. In a study on LGBT travel destinations, West Palm Beach ranks sixth behind Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa and the Keys.

And of the total number of lesbians and gays visiting the state, only 10% of them spent at least one night in West Palm Beach. Not enough according to Ashley Svarney, the spokesperson for Discover the Palm Beaches, a non-profit

“For the gay and lesbian, LGBT travelers this is the perfect ideal destination to get married and enjoy yourselves,” said Ashley Svarney, spokesperson for Discover the Palm Beaches.

“We just feel it’s a market that’s been untapped. It’s certainly a high-income market,” said Nick Gold, spokesperson for Eau Palm Beach Hotel and Spa in Manalapan.

Tourism officials won’t say how much they’re spending on advertising aimed at the LGBT community.

But they’re betting it will pay off, and say their ad budget aimed at that segment has increased by more than 60 percent from a year ago.

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