The South has risen to the top of PlanetOut’s Annual Travel Awards. New Orleans was recently named runner-up as the top domestic destination. The Crescent City shared second-place honors with gay mega-plex San Francisco and perenial favorite New York City topped the list.
The powers-that-be in New Orleans see GLBT travelers as key to the city’s success.
"New Orleans has historically enjoyed its reputation as a city with an unmatched sense of southern hospitality that is open and welcome to everyone,"said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Certainly the GLBT market is an important audience for us, and great annual events such as Southern Decadence are crucial for our hospitality industry and economic vitality,"
In 2007, New Orleans hosted 7.1 million visitors, including almost 100,000 attendees to the Southern Decadence Festival Labor Day Weekend 2007 with an estimated economic impact of $95 million. Southern Decadence Festival was started 37 years ago and has grown into one of the largest annual celebrations in New Orleans.
Thomas Roth, President of Community Marketing Inc., also praised the city for its cultural diversity.
"With an insatiable appetite for all things culture, including art, architecture, cuisine, music, festivals, etc., plus its genuine joie de vivre, there are few destinations that match what New Orleans has to offer gay and lesbian visitors," Roth said.