Houston wants gay tourists
It's not exactly news that Houston is a pretty gay-friendly town (just ask Annise Parker). Now the Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau is jumping on the rainbow-colored bandwagon. This week officials launched the My Gay Houston portal, aiming to bring in GLBT tourists — and their dollars.
"Part of the impetus for My Gay Houston was a statistic that gay travelers actually spend more money than other travelers, and we wanted to court that demographic,"says Lindsey Brown, director of marketing and public relations for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"We have such a great arts scene and such a big gay community, but people don't necessarily think of that when they think of Texas. So we started looking at other cities like Philadelphia who have done a great job of marketing their cities to the gay community."
The site lists all the big dining, shopping and entertainment options, with a predictably heavy dose of Montrose.
It also has a solid run-down of gay and gay-friendly nightlife (broken down down by where the action is each day of the week), TAG-approved hotels (those are the ones that agree not to discriminate based on sexual orientation and to create a gay-friendly experience for their guests), a round-up of local GLBT organizations and Q & As with 13 prominent community members.
"We wanted to get real feedback from the gay community— What is our message? What do gay travelers need to know about Houston. We discovered that the gay community is just like every other community in Houston, in that everyone's experience is different," says Brown.
"So we wanted to include the perspectives of the individuals in these stories, which will be changing over time."