Palm Beach County Making a Play for the Pink Dollar

Tourism department launches LGBT Subcommittee

Palm Beach County has now realized the power of the pink dollar.

Discover The Palm Beaches — the travel planning resource for visitors both domestic and abroad in Palm Beach County — has officially launched an LGBT subcommittee on tourism this year. The committee is made up of local LGBT people. The goal is to push and promote Palm Beach County as a welcoming tourist destination to increase the influx of LGBT travelers. 

“By aligning ourselves with advocates in the LGBT community, we can properly connect our message to all visitors of The Palm Beaches as a welcoming, inclusive destination,” Ashley Svarney, director of public relations and communications for DTPB, said in a press release. “This press trip and our new subcommittee will help us to increase awareness among LGBT tourists, and the county businesses that support them in their travels here. Our goal is to become a top destination for all travelers.”

According to DTPB, research suggests that over the last five years LGBT visitors to The Palm Beaches were 58 percent gay men and 32 percent lesbian women, nine percent of which have children. These LGBT visitors are more likely to participate in cultural tourism such as live theater — and are on average more wealthy — compared to visitors to other Florida locations.

“As Discover The Palm Beaches works to reach the LGBT traveler, we believe the most efficient way we can properly connect with this important market is with a plan that incorporates the personal insight from those within our community who understand the market best,” Svarney told SFGN.

The subcommittee plans to meet quarterly will focus on opportunities to engage the LGBT community through marketing.

“Our brand promise in The Palm Beaches is that ‘genuine hospitality is a way of life,’ and that’s more than just a catch phrase for us,” DTPB president and CEO Jorge Pesquera said in a press release. “Every guest, regardless of lifestyle, race or origin, is valued and respected.”

This isn’t the first of DTPB’s involvement in the LGBT community — in 2015, a DTPB Public Relations representative team participated in the Charlotte Mason Institute Conference on LGBT Tourism and Hospitality to learn more about engaging this specific market from a travel perspective.

More recently, the group was a sponsor of the 7th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament that took place last month in Wellington. DTPB also organized a press trip for LGBT travel writers, which included SFGN’s executive editor Jason Parsley. They hosted the writers on a five-day tour to further promote the county to LGBT travelers.

They visited the Gay Polo Tournament, The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum, took a food tour of downtown West Palm Beach, visited several local hotels and more. Although DTPB has been involved in the LGBT community for years through marketing, this year they will be increasing their presence and efforts.

One of DTPB’s goals over the last year has been to diversify its marketing within Palm Beach, targeting LGBT people, African-Americans, families and others. They have also invested in assets for LGBT advertisements for this fiscal year.

“I think the most important message we’re working to communicate is that The Palm Beaches are a safe, welcoming destination where genuine hospitality is a way of life – no matter your sexual orientation. People are people… love is love,” Svarney told SFGN. “We’re working to attract visitors near and far looking to enjoy the time of their life in the best place to experience Florida.”


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