Friday, April 29, 2016

Gogobot Unveils Its 2016 LGBT Rising Stars Destinations

Atlanta and Prince’s hometown, Minneapolis, Top the Cities on the Rise, While Amsterdam and Berlin Are Named “Declining Destinations Worth a Second Look”

Gogobot – the award-winning, tribe based travel-planning app and website – is announcing its 2016 LGBT Rising Stars Destinations, where LGBT travel is growing, as well as its 2016 LGBT Declining Destinations Worth a Second Look list.

Gogobot’s LGBT Rising Stars Destinations list for 2016 are all cities increasing in popularity amongst LGBT travelers, according to data from Gogobot’s more than 10 million travelers:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Minneapolis
  3. Boston
  4. Austin
  5. Dallas
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Toronto
  9. Dubai
    *Please note Dubai would have been listed as No. 9 on Gogobot's 2016 LGBT Rising Stars Destinations list. Gogobot removed it from the list since homosexuality is illegal in Dubai.
  10. Tampa
“It’s not at all surprising to see Atlanta at the top of this year’s list given that vibrant LGBT hot spots like Einstein’s and My Sister’s Room can be found throughout the city, and not confined to a single neighborhood. Similarly, Minneapolis, has long been known as a forward-thinking city and home to progressive artists like Prince,” notes Krista Canfield, Gogobot’s Getaway Expert. “We were, however, surprised to see our data showing an increase in LGBT travel to Dubai this year. LGBT travelers, like many travelers, clearly want to see and experience the world in places where traditions and cultures are different from their own. Yet while our data clearly shows that the LGBT community is increasingly interested in visiting Dubai, we decided to remove Dubai from our list because homosexuality is still illegal in Dubai. As a company, we can’t in good conscience recommend Dubai as a great destination for LGBT travelers, since the punishment for homosexuality in Dubai can include prison, fines, deportation and even the death penalty.”      

Harold Smith-Franzen, a member of Gogobot’s LGBT Tribe who has traveled to 117 countries and all of the cities on both of this year’s lists, says Dubai is popular with LGBT travelers despite the legal situation there, “because it is a vibrant city that offers an experience you won't find anywhere else in the Middle East. It has a perfect mix of modernity, wealth, sophistication and garishness, yet it’s still tethered by more conservative traditions.”

Gogobot’s 2016 Declining LGBT Destinations Worth a Second Look may be experiencing a drop in tourism for reasons ranging from LGBT travelers simply being less enamored with them to economic or global concerns:

  1. Greater Tokyo
  2. Amsterdam
  3. Barcelona
  4. Berlin
  5. Bangkok
  6. Las Vegas
  7. Paris and Surrounds
  8. Oahu
  9. Orlando & Walt Disney World
  10. Seattle and Surrounds

For more info on why each place made Gogobot’s lists and ideas on where to stay, eat and play in each destination, head to this link.

Gogobot takes a number of different factors into account when selecting its winners including reviewing data across the more than 60,000 destinations in its database. Both lists are based on the number of reviews from distinct travelers visiting the destination, the number of people creating trips on Gogobot for these destinations and real travelers recommending these spots to the LGBT Tribe on Gogobot in 2015.

More than 10 million used Gogobot to plan and research places to go and discover great places to stay, eat and play in the past year. Members have posted more than one million reviews and shared more than five million photos and postcards on Gogobot’s free website and apps.

Having marked its fifth anniversary in 2015, Gogobot also celebrated a banner year with several awards and accolades. Gogobot was named an Editors’ Choice app by Google Play in 2016 and a Top Developer by Google Play in 2015. PC Magazine deemed Gogobot one of the, “Best Travel Apps of 2015.” In 2015, Gogobot was also called one of Mashable’s, “Five Can’t Miss Apps,” one of USA Today’s, “Best Apps to Survive Life After College,” and one of the Travel Channel’s, “Top Ten Apps to Download.”

About Gogobot
Gogobot’s mission is to help people discover great places to stay, eat and play that are perfect for them. Nineteen tribes (Family Travelers, Foodies, Luxury, Wellness and LGBT, among others) provide Gogobot members with personalized recommendations. More than 10 million people used Gogobot to plan and research places to go in the last year. Gogobot also has more than one million reviews, five million photos and postcards as well as 60,000 city guides available on both the site and its apps (Android, Apple Watch and iPhone).

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#GayWineWeekend Returning to Sonoma in 2016, Bigger Than Ever

Hot off their win as ManAboutWorld's LGBT Event of the Year for 2015, Gay Wine Weekend in Sonoma is poised to become even bigger and better in 2016.  Starting June 17th and going through the weekend ending June 19th, it's a weekend of wine & celebration in California Wine Country, featuring a Twilight T-Dance & Gay Wine Auction benefiting Face to Face, Sonoma County's AIDS Network.

Come and enjoy 3 full days of LGBT events in the home of some of the world's most prestigious wines and wineries. Celebrate with world class wine and culinary delights, music and dancing in a private estate vineyard, VIP Receptions, wine tasting excursions, champagne brunch, wine auction and pool party in one of the most famous luxury wine destinations in the world.

Enter to Win a Trip for 2 to Gay Wine Weekend
Includes round-trip air on Alaska Airlines, VIP passes and 2 nights hotel

Founded by Gary Saperstein and Mark Vogler, longtime friends and food & wine afficionados who joined forces years back to launch Out in the Vineyard, Gay Wine Weekend is part of, a company offering LGBTQ-oriented wine country tours, events (and now CRUISES!) in Sonoma and Napa Counties.

(Read more from Sonoma Figbits, updates from the girl & the fig)

Working with LBGT and LGBT-friendly wineries in the Sonoma Valley, Gay Wine Weekend brings folks together with gay winemakers and vintners including Brad Beard of Mercury Wines, Lloyd Davis of Corner 103, Kurt Giusti of Via Giusti, Michael Kobler of Kobler Family Estate Vineyards and many others, including Sebastiani, Buena Vista and this year the iconic Chateau St. Jean in the heart of Sonoma Valley.

(Read more from the Daily Xtra)

Chateau St. Jean donates iconic winery to gay wine event to help end HIV in Sonoma County
Legendary Sonoma Icon hosts Twilight T-Dance at Out In The Vineyard’s Gay Wine Weekend
In Sonoma to benefit Face to Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network.

Twilight T-Dance is the signature event of the 3 days long annual AIDS fundraising event, Gay Wine Weekend, in Sonoma Valley, benefiting Face to Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network. 500-600 LGBT wine lovers from across North America will travel to Chateau St. Jean Winery for a VIP wine reception, dance into the sunset to the hip beats of an internationally famous DJ out in the vineyards of Chateau St. Jean. Gourmet food trucks will also be on hand, where guests can purchase delicious wine country cuisine to pair with Chateau St. Jean’s award winning wines.

“Having Chateau St. Jean open is doors to the LGBT community and donate their legendary winery to help us raise money for support services to those living with HIV/AIDS and to stop HIV in Sonoma County is a testament to how dedicated they are to our community” says Out In The Vineyard co-founder, Mark Vogler. “Growing up in rural Sonoma County as the AIDS epidemic exploded in the late 1980s and early 90s, and witnessing the backlash against the victims of this horrible disease, I could have never imagined this kind of support. It’s incredibly generous.”

Out In The Vineyard has contributed over $130,000 dollars to Face to Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network since the launch of Gay Wine Weekend in June 2011. “This gives us the greatest pleasure of all," says cofounder Gary Saperstein. "After everyone goes home, we get to stop and take stock

Gay Wine Weekend 2016 Events:
  • Friday, June 17th
    • VIP Welcome Reception
      3:00 – 6:00 PM – MacArthur Place Hotel
    • Wine & Dine OUT in Sonoma – Winemaker Dinners - $125 7:30:PM
  • Saturday, June 14th
    • Winery Tours & Lunch - $85 - $125 10:00AM – 3:00PM
      Take a tour of some of the best producers in Sonoma Valley with the girl & the fig CATERS box lunch.
    • Twilight T-Dance – Chateau St. Jean, Sonoma, benefiting Face to Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network
      VIP Reception & T-Dance $165 – 5:00PM - 10:00PM
      General Admission T-Dance $ 80 - 6:30 – 10:00PM
    • Apres-T After Party - $30 – MacArthur Place Hotel- 11:00PM
  • Sunday, June 19th
    • Gay Wine Auction & Recovery Brunch - $75 MacArthur Place Hotel10:00AM
      100% of the monies raised benefit Face to Face, Sonoma County HIV/AIDS network
    • Sunday Pool Soiree - $30 MacArthur Place Hotel 12:30PM – 4:00PM

For more information, check out:

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