Mirror Quotable: Richard Gray

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Richard Gray

Managing Director, LGBTQ Market

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

ON THE LGBT TRAVEL MARKET

“Last year we welcomed 1.5 million LGBT visitors who spent a whopping $1.5 billion. That is a mega economic impact. We have become the #1 LGBT destination in the state of Florida and the #1 gay resort destination in the U.S.”

 

ON WHAT IT TAKES TO BE #1

“Our LGBTQ marketing budget has grown from $35,000 in 1996 to over a $1 million in 2016. I would say we have one of the largest destination LGBTQ marketing budgets in the world. In the past, all that was needed to show a destination was LGBTQ-friendly was to wave a rainbow flag, but we believe that a destination needs to talk the talk and walk the walk and we have definitely done that for more than 20 years. “

 

ON GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE’S APPEAL

“We have a huge resident LGBTQ community, with the most same-sex couple households per capita in the U.S. Our community is open and accepting, we have one of the most diverse populations in the country and we have blended our messaging to highlight the importance of inclusion.”

 

ON  GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE’’S TRANS-GENDER AND FAMILY OUTREACH EFFORTS

“It is all about education and acceptance. In the Transgender market we want ALL travelers to Greater Fort Lauderdale to be free to be themselves, free to be accepted, to feel welcome and most of all safe. We include LGBTQ sensitivity training in our SUNsational Service training for all employees working in the hospitality industry in Greater Fort Lauderdale.”

 

ON HIS GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT SO FAR

“Unquestionably, our historic Transgender travel study and launch of our Trans marketing campaign, Where Happy Meets Go Lucky.  What we are doing in the Trans platform has gone global and in my wildest dreams I never thought that as a destination we would influence a community on a global level.”


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