Tuesday, August 25, 2015

LGBT Position Available - Consumer Marketing Manager - IGLTA

Consumer Marketing Manager
IGLTA is the leading member-based global organization dedicated to LGBT tourism. We are looking for a dynamic, creative individual to join our not-for-profit and expand our efforts to make the world more welcoming to LGBT travelers. This is a full-time position that may be based outside of the U.S. headquarters.

The position
Develop and execute strategies that raise the visibility of IGLTA and our business members/partners and increase our engagement with LGBT travelers worldwide. Work with our existing marketing channels and create innovative new outlets to drive more consumer traffic to our website and social media accounts. Coordinate implementation of marketing strategies with the headquarters staff. Utilize freelancers and our volunteer ambassador team to maximize effectiveness of global LGBT community initiatives (contests, offers, etc.) in multiple languages. Collaborate with Communications Director to maintain brand consistency across all marketing platforms. Liaison with the IGLTA board’s consumer task force to ensure the association’s long-term strategic plan is implemented effectively. Competitive salary and benefits; some travel required. Position reports to the President/CEO.

Performance metrics
Two key areas to the success of the organization include growing the consumer database and growing our consumer connections via social media. This position plays a significant role in these functions and will be measured on both the growth in numbers and the quality of consumer engagement, including the international diversity involved. Quarterly reports required.


  • Minimum of 5 years marketing experience that includes consumer campaigns related to tourism/hospitality
  • Well versed in content creation, SEO/SEM
  • Ability to manage projects independently while effectively communicating with headquarters staff
  • Demonstrated success with social media management (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Experience overseeing remote small teams/staff
  • Highly analytical
  • Degree required, preferably in marketing
  • Excellent communication and computer skills
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish fluency preferred)
  • Some graphic design experience a plus

Please send cover letter, resume/CV and examples of consumer marketing projects to IGLTA@IGLTA.org.  Expected hiring decision – late September 2015.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sparkling Hill Resort plays vital role in helping an employee transform

Great article about Katie, a Sparkling Hill Resort employee, and her company's support during her transition.

Katie was born in Cambridge, Ontario, and grew up in the small community of Paris, a rural town of about 10,000 people. Growing up, she knew she was different from the other kids. This is common for many LGBT youth; they often recognize or feel something is different about them, but they aren’t sure what it is because sexual education isn’t taught until later in school, and even then, LGBT education is limited at best.
Read the full story of Katie’s journey on homoculture.ca

Sparkling Hill Health Resort is a world-class resort located in the interior region of British Columbia. Situated just outside of the city of Vernon in the North Okanagan, the beautiful valley is well known for outdoor recreation and leisure getaways, wine and agriculture, and a long history rooted in conservative values. When the luxury health and wellness resort opened in 2010, little did they know the vital role they would play in the transformation of one of their employees.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ylan Chrem appointed representative for Luxe India

Ylan S Chrem has been appointed representative for Luxe India in the US market. He is a veteran and an accomplish travel industry professional with significant international experience working with leading travel agencies, tour operators, hotels and airlines. He has also proven global marketing and sales skills and extensive contacts worldwide. He is widely known and respected in the international travel industry.

Ylan brings with him 28 years of experience which will prove invaluable in promoting the luxury experiences that Luxe India has to offer. He will develop the US market for the company. Luxe India specializes in creating bespoke luxury experiences covering India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka and Maldives. One of the unique propositions of the luxury brand is the special touch that turns ordinary trips into memorable experiential journeys; each program is fine-tuned to clients’ specific preferences, in order to ensure that they go beyond what is expected from the journey.

About LUXE India:
When selecting a company to manage your travel needs, LUXE understands that you have a number of options available to you and that it can be difficult to distinguish between the services. LUXE India strives for the best and below are some aspects that make their company stand out from the others.

Offering India and only the best, LUXE India is unchallenged in the quality of service they offer to their guests. When welcoming you to the oldest civilization in the world, it is their goal to make you feel immediately comfortable, as if you had close family members introducing you to a country they love.

As soon as you land, you will enjoy the services of the finest, handpicked guides in addition to either a Western, bilingual LUXE India host or alternatively a Western ‘virtual’ concierge. They will facilitate and refine an itinerary that has been developed to match destinations, hotels, restaurants and specialists to your clients’ unique tastes and interests.

Beyond their insistence to provide you with the best available guides, experts, LUXE India hosts and facilities, they commit to continually develop new ‘LUXE moments’ to access the romance of India’s past, the underlying reality of her presence and the unprecedented potential of its future.

They believe in doing their part to mold that future. Beyond delivering an excellent product to influential guests, their Corporate Social Responsibility program incorporates donations to charity within core business functions, and by working with governmental tourism bodies they help promote India as a compelling luxury travel destination. Discover the values behind their unique approach to travel, from how they choose their hosts to understanding their passion for great hotels and their unmatched understanding of the destination.

India offers Wows at every turn. Some are expected, but many are not. Take a moment to imagine and explore some of the finest experiences with LUXE India!

Ylan Chrem | Market Development Manager - USA
Luxe India | 313 NE 2nd St # 403 Fort Lauderdale FL 33301 USA
T: +1 305 7852116
ylan@luxeindia.in   www.luxeindia.in

Friday, March 20, 2015

“Freedom To Live” The largest Pride Celebration in Southeast Asia is in Phuket

April 19 to 26, 2015

The eight days of celebrations and community events are organized and planned by Phuket Loves You Club (PLU) whose goals are to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS in the local Thai Phuket Community and to work towards full equality for the local LGBT communities.  Phuket is the Pearl of the Andaman Sea and this will be Phuket’s Pride’s 15th year.

Throughout the week, there will be fun spirited competitions such as the popular Pool Tournament held at Sundowners Bar, and the famous Beach Volleyball Contest held at the Gay Beach in Patong where many of the local Thai boys will demonstrate their talents.

For the past three years, CC’s Hideaway Hotel has been in the front of this celebration by hosting the opening party. They have had fire dancers, cabaret shows, GoGo Boys, mermaids, sexy dancers, live bands and plenty more.

Last year’s theme “A Gay Circus in Paradise” was truly amazing – there were snake charmers, jugglers, fire dancers, circus clowns, two cabaret shows from Paradise Soi, it was the WOW event for Pride 2014.

For 2015, they will be hosting the first ever, Phuket Pride Talent Showcase “StarGazer”. Besides being crowned the winner of this exciting contest, the winner will walk away with over 20,000 baht in prize money. There will also be prizes in the form of cash and rooms nights at CC’s Hideaway.  There will be a DJ, light show, full bar, an amazing Thai buffet as well as one of the premier cabaret shows from Patong plus other live entertainment.

Now if you are looking for sun, sea and sand, the day trip to Racha Island maybe be up your alley.  This will be the fourth year that this event has been organized and each year it has gotten bigger and better.  It’s also a great way to meet many of the visitors.

Besides working for a healthier community, PLU is striving to fight for equality in Thailand.  To help address the social stigma associated with being LGBT, they will be putting the face of their diverse community out to the broader community.  Working with Jungceylon Shopping Mall, there will be a photo exhibit “All Love is Equal.”   This exhibit will be shown in the center area from April 20th to 26th.

They will hold a contest for Mr. Phuket Pride. Over 12 young men from all parts of the world entered last year’s contest.  Last year this contest was held at CC’s Hideaway and it was a great success.  This year the contest will be held at Andaman Embrace Hotel located in Patong and is promised to be the biggest Pride Party yet.

Not to be undone, this year for the first time on Thursday, April 23rd there will be a Beautiful Lady/Sexy Man Contest where ladies will slowly change into young men.  This will be an eye opening event that shows all men that there is that secret women inside just dying to come out.   This will be the main event and will be hosted by PLU at CC’s Hideaway Hotel.  The prizes for this contest are most popular contestant 2,000THB, First Place 10,000THB, Second Place 5,000THB and Third Place 2,500THB

One of the high points of the week will be the Phuket Pride Gala Dinner.  This year the dinner and party will be held at the Novotel Resort Phuket Vintage Park.  There will be fabulous entertainment, wonderful food and a wide selection of items to bid on for the oral and silent auctions.

The final day of the celebration will be held in Paradise at one of the major bars where the annual Tea Dance will be held.

CC’s Hideaway Hotel is offering an incredible package during Pride you should check-out: http://ccshideaway.com/offers.htm#early-bird-2014

With prices so low for a full week of fun, it may be time to cash in on all the airline miles you've been saving.

Friday, March 13, 2015

CC’s Hideaway Hotel: Your Homo-hideaway in Thailand!

CCs Hideaway Hotel is an active member of the LGBT community in Phuket raising money to help the work of PLU (Phuket Loves You Club which is Phukets Leading LGBT charitable fundraising organization). CCs provides a safe and welcoming environment for its LGBT visitors and employees.   There is a palpable commitment at CCs to provide LGBT guests a high quality experience.   It is not just corporate sloganeering but rather a matter of mindful purposeafulness.

CCs LGBT Credits

Its owners, many employees and most of its management team are LGBT themselves.  Rated as one of the top 10 Gay Friendly hotels in the world by the Gay Star News in 2013, CCs is the real deal in attending to the needs of its clientele, staff and community. CCs is an IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association) member. For the past two years, CCs Hideaway has been voted the best accommodation in Phuket by the leading Gay Publication in Thailand “Out in Thailand.”  Always a proud sponsor of Phuket Pride, CCs is going all out in making sure this years Phuket Pride (April 19-April 26) is awesome.  They are “OUT” and proud!

CCs Industry Track record

In 2014 Expedia published the following special rating:
The 2014 list names only 650 hotels as Insiders’ Select hotels from among the more than 290,000 bookable properties available on Expedia, Inc. websites worldwide. CC's Hideaway is the only one hotel from Phuket in this list.  https://www.facebook.com/notes/ccs-hideaway/ccs-hideaway-named-among-best-reviewed-hotels-on-the-expedia-insiders-select-201/10152264985327831 
Since 2010, CCs Hideaway has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and is currently ranked #8 of 72 hotels in Karon.  All its staff, owners and management team are committed to providing an excellent service to its guests.  But really most of this just comes down to how wonderful and warm their staff is.

The CCs Experience

As per its website:
CCs is a 42 room luxury full service hotel nestled in the lush hills of Karon overlooking the Andaman Sea and provides easy access to 3 of Phukets finest beaches: Kata Noi, Kata and Karon.  CCs Hideaway offers a unique combination of breathtaking views and modern accommodations infused with traditional and authentic Thai furnishings. 

More simply, CCs is an artsy oasis for guests seeking a relaxing holiday. Enjoy your excursions in Phuket and its surrounding islands and then come back each day to the tranquility that CCs provides.  For those looking to have health conscious holidays, they offer Yoga retreats and wellness holiday packages and they have a restaurant that offers an extensive menu of Western and Thai food.  

Phuket as delivered by CCs

CCs offers transportation and concierge services to help you to experience the things you choose to.  Whether it is a visit to a traditional outdoor night market, the Big Buddha, a National Park or a diving excursion, they can help.  Their concierges try out the excursions they sell, so over the years they have carefully sifted through the operators that provide quality and safe services for a good value.

Meet some of the CCs Team in Los Angeles?

Reaching out beyond Phuket, its management team will be venturing out to West Hollywood, Los Angeles California to promote CCs at the Global LGBT Travel Show on April 11 from 12:00 to 4:30 pm at the West Hollywood Park (647 N San Vicente Blvd).  Free admission. 

CCs Environmental Awareness

They are also very environmentally responsible. They have a water catchment system to collect rainwater to reduce the burden on the ever diminishing water table.  They have solar water heaters that conserve the amount of electricity used. They have energy efficient light bulbs, a salt water swimming pool and a water management system that recycles and cleans shower water (white water) for re-use in the toilets.  And of course, they are always working to improve things and hope to have a solar system that generates much of their electricity over the next two years.

Community Participation

There is a lot to be said about what they do besides supporting the LGBT community.  There was a great tsunami that devastated parts of Asia in December 26, 2004 and it was featured in the movie The Impossible.  CCs has worked to support the work of a local expat filmmaker Mike Thomas.  He made a much earlier documentary version of the The Impossible called Living with the Tiger and recently did a 10 year follow-up documentary on some of the families in fishing villages impacted called Silent Watershttp://www.silentwatersthemovie.com  CCs held the world premier for this film.  Also related to the Tsunami they actively support an organization that helped looked after area dogs that were displaced as a result. 

Now go have a look at CCs for yourself!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gay and Lesbian Travel a booming segment at ITB Berlin 2015

The Gay & Lesbian Travel Pavilion, the world’s largest platform for LGBT tourism, welcomes new exhibitors – discussion round at the ITB Berlin Convention on the prospects for LGBT social media campaigns – a cult event: the ITB TomOnTour Party on 4 March 2015

Gay and lesbian travel is one of the fastest-growing markets in the international travel industry. Ever since 2010 ITB Berlin has grouped all the relevant providers on an attractive combined display in order to focus attention on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism (LGBT). The Gay & Lesbian Travel Pavilion in the centrally located entrance area in front of the Caribbean Hall 3.1b, now showcases the world’s largest range of LGBT tourism products at any trade fair.

Among this year’s exhibitors attending the Pink Pavilion for the first time are Mykonos Accommodation Center with gay-friendly hotels from Mykonos, the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network with EuroGames 2015, the Dorsett Hotel Group with hotels in Asia and the UK as well as the gay tour operator Zenith Travel from Ecuador and Servicewerk Berlin with partners from Belgium. A first time exhibitor is also the German Gay&Lesbian Travel Magazine BonVoyage. Key West, Florida Keys & Key West, Fort Lauderdale as well as Ontario with Toronto, are represented for the first time with their own LGBT stand at the world’s largest travel trade show. Wien Tourism together with the popular Vienna Gay Café and ITB LGBT partner TomOnTour/Diversity Tourism GmbH are long-standing exhibitors at the show. The stand of Vienna Tourism features a cube with a large photo of Conchita Wurst and questions about the Eurovision Song Contest which in 2015 will take place in Vienna. Those who get the right answers will be able to win prizes. Also taking part again are the Spartacus Gay Guide, Brazil with ABRAT and Embratur, Argentina Turismo LGBT, Diversity Consulting from Madrid, the Ella Festival from Majorca, Gay Gran Canaria and the IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association), together with World Rainbow Hotels, Gay Guide 365, Here Media, and co-exhibitors from Tel Aviv and Barcelona.

Following its successful launch last year, in 2015 the Gay & Lesbian Media Networking Brunch will be taking place on Wednesday, 4 March. From 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. members of the media will be able to get together in an informal atmosphere with representatives of destinations and other tourism providers. Part of it will be the Ella Festival for Women, One & Only Hotels, Toronto and Ontario, Hotel GranVia Kyoto from Japan, Spartacus and TomOnTour and, for the first time, the city of Athens (the City of Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau), which is acting as the main sponsor of the event. Another regular highlight is the reception organised by the Spartacus Gay Guide at their stand on 5 March 2015, the Thursday of ITB. Among those taking part are IGLTA, the Berlin Aids relief organisation (Berliner Aids Hilfe) and Air Berlin. Also on Thursday, night-fly agents from MANEO (a Berlin Anti-Violence-Project) will invite trade visitors to stop in hall 12 where ITB LGBT Partner visitBerlin and the Pink Pillow initiative will host a reception from 4.30 to 6.00 p.m. On the same day, Chic Outlet Shopping® will invite all IGLTA members and interested exhibitors to a midday reception at their stand in hall 18, stand 125a. On the Saturday of ITB ’Queer Tango’, a legendary event and major attraction for the public, will be taking place at 3pm on the gay and lesbian stand of Argentina. Also on Saturday, the Greek island of Mykonos will regale visitors at a 4 o’clock reception with cheese and wine. Taking place on 4 March 2015 at the Park Inn on Alexanderplatz will be the ITB Party by TomOnTour, a cult event for partygoers. Admission is by invitation only. Visit Florida with the Florida Keys & Key West, St.Petersburg / Clearwater and Fort Lauderdale are the exclusive partner of the event. On Thursday night the party will go on with the Mate Travel Awards get-together which will take place at the Tube Station in Berlin Friedrichstraße. On Friday the community will be networking with the IGLTA for an evening reception at the Axel Hotel, hosted by Tourism Toronto and Ontario. Admission here is also by invitation only. The next morning, on ITB Saturday, visitBerlin and the pink pillow Berlin collection hotels will invite guests to meet for a LGBT ITB-Breakfast in Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt.

Gay and Lesbian Tourism Panel at the ITB Berlin Convention
At the ITB Berlin Convention the ITB Destination Days will be addressing once again the topic of gay and lesbian travel. On Friday, 6 March 2015, taking the gay and lesbian market as an example, international experts Richard Gray, managing director of LGBT Market, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; Shiho Ikeuchi, director of Overseas Marketing Hotel Granvia Kyoto; Kristin Hansen, of the Ella Festival, Majorca, and Rika Jean-François, responsible for CSR and LGBT travel at ITB Berlin and member of the board of IGLTA, will be debating “the potential of social media to successfully influence niche markets.” Matt Skallerud of Pink Banana Media, Los Angeles, will be holding an introductory paper. Moderating the event will be Thomas Bömkes, managing director of Diversity Tourism GmbH and long-standing advisor in LGBT matters to ITB Berlin.

ITB Berlin’s commitment to cultural diversity is not confined to the dates of the show. Thus, on request the ITB Academy organises events at various destinations with information on global developments. The show has also committed to strategic partnerships regarding the development of the LGBT travel product with Wien Tourismus and visitBerlin. In the context of its social responsibilities the world’s largest travel trade show also sees itself in a pioneering role and promotes tolerance and the implementation of human rights. ITB Berlin is a member of the IGLTA and supports the IGLTA Foundation.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2015 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 4 to 8 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 4 to Saturday, 7 March 2015. More details are available at www.itb-convention.com. ITB Berlin is the global travel industry’s leading trade show. In 2014 a total of 10,147 companies and organisations from 189 countries exhibited their products and services to 174,000 visitors, who included 114,000 trade visitors.

About ITB Berlin's commitment to diversity and LGBT travel:

Become a fan of ITB Berlin at www.facebook.de/ITBBerlin.
Follow ITB Berlin on https://twitter.com/ITB_Berlin.
Get the latest updates from the Social Media Newsroom at http://newsroom.itb-berlin.de.

You can find press releases on the internet at www.itb-berlin.com under the section heading Press Service / Press Releases. Make use of our information service and subscribe to our RSS feeds.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gaycation Magazine Appoints New Executive Editor

Gaycation Magazine, the premier LGBTQ travel magazine (www.gaycationmagazine.com), announced this week that Aaron Drake has signed on as the publication’s new Executive Editor. Drake comes with prior experience in LGBT travel media, as a contributor for Amtrak Ride With Pride, Man About World, Out Traveler and Connextions Magazine, and also as former editor of Frontiers Magazine in Los Angeles. He joins the Gaycation staff as the company begins its expansion, with the recent acquisition of The Word (www.theword.com), a LGBT newspaper based in Indianapolis, and Rainbow Tourism (www.rainbowtourism.com), a LGBT travel website based in Sydney, Australia.

Aaron joins Gaycation as Executive Editor to manage the magazine publishing process and assign content that emboldens the magazine’s mission of sharing real travel experiences and practical travel advice with readers. Aaron says, “I am excited to join Gaycation Magazine and get the word out about many of the remarkable LGBT destinations across the globe, both well-traveled and off-the-beaten-path. Gaycation has a strong, growing reader base and I very much look forward to connecting with them about their adventures. I am equally as excited to be working with the excellent team of DJ Doran and his partner Joe Morales in making this happen.”

DJ Doran, publisher and editor-in-chief of Gaycation says, “I extend a warm welcome to Aaron as he joins our growing Gaycation family. I know that Aaron’s broad experience in gay travel media will only enhance our team, and I am looking forward to witnessing his passion for travel reflected within the pages of the magazine.”

Before his role at Frontiers, Aaron Drake also contributed to The Advocate, Gay Cities, Columbus, Ohio-based Outlook Monthly and as an Editorial Assistant at Out in America Cities Network.

Drake has a B.A. in Mass Communication & Social Issues from The Ohio State University. He and his husband currently live in Los Angeles, but will be relocating to St. Petersburg, Florida, later this spring.

About Gaycation Magazine
Gaycation Magazine (www.gaycationmagazine.com) is a distinctive voice in LGBTQ travel, inspiring travelers to immerse themselves in authentic experiences that create a deep connection between readers, destinations and local culture. Our content is created by professional travel writers and personal travel experiences submitted by readers. Gaycation Magazine works with top brands, hotels and destinations to provide inspiration and advice that expertly serves the discerning traveler.