Photo Courtesy of Don Tuthill
At TravelChannel.com, we try to share different travel experiences with our audience, as we did with our recent feature about Travel Noire and its Afro-centric perspective. We wanted to share the LGBT travel experience, too, so we decided to chat with Don Tuthill, the visionary behind Passport, a print and online resource that has become the insider’s guide to LGBT travel, thanks in part to a team of experienced, well-traveled writers. Find out more about the Passport brand and why Don is our type of traveler this week.
New York City is home to some of the top hotels in the world. Travel Channel may need to add The OUT NYC to that list soon. The city’s first gay boutique hotel is open for business. It’s located in Hell’s Kitchen, on West 42nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenue. The OUT was planned and built with the gay consumer in mind, including the hotel’s design, living spaces, music and rooms where closets are replaced with shelves.
The rooms –rates start around $200– include wireless, high-speed Internet, flat screen TVs, MP3 docking stations and mini-bars. If you’re looking for a cheaper rate, the hotel has 8 hostel-style rooms that sleep 4 for $99 per person. These rooms have 4 full-sized beds, personal TVs, a bathroom and privacy curtains.
Looking for places in the hotel to relax and unwind? Spend some time in one of the hotel’s three courtyards; workout in the gym; or dance ‘til you sweat in the XL Nightclub, a 14,000-square-foot gay dance club. A new full-service restaurant, Kitchin, is set to open in May. And fear not, the hotel isn’t just for gay patrons, hotel owners say the 105-room resort is straight-friendly.
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, Travel Channel is heating things up this winter with new content to attract gay and lesbian travelers. You may not know it, but the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) tourism industry is big business, raking in $65 billion a year, according to Community Marketing Inc.’s annual LGBT Tourism Study.
The study reveals that the LGBT community has increased their travel in the last year, despite the economic downturn, with gay men taking an average of 3 trips last year. And gay travelers spare no expense to enjoy traveling abroad to other countries. Eighty-five percent of gay males and 77% of lesbians own a passport, compared with a 30% rate of all Americans. Last year, 54% of gay men used their passport. READ MORE