Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of New "I Love NY LGBT" Tourism Website

June 29, 2013 Updated Jun 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of New "I Love NY LGBT" Tourism Website

June 29, 2013 Updated Jun 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM EDT

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a new “I Love NY LGBT” website, a one-stop tourism portal into all that New York State has to offer LGBT travelers. The website’s launch comes on the heels of the Governor’s pledge to grow tourism and jobs in New York State, including the launch of a new “I Love NY LGBT” initiative. The niche LGBT tourism segment accounts for approximately $70 billion in tourism spending in the U.S. every year.

The new website provides information and suggestions to help LGBT travelers plan their New York vacations. The campaign is represented by the iconic I LOVE NY logo with a rainbow colored heart.

“As part of our efforts to boost the tourism industry in New York, this pride month, we are launching the “I Love NY LGBT” website to highlight all of what the state has to offer to the LGBT community,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York State has a tremendous variety of ‘must see’ destinations for all travelers of different interests – whether they are wine connoisseurs, history buffs or outdoor adventurers. The website will be an important tool to help attract visitors, encourage spending in our communities and create jobs in the industry. New York has a proud history of welcoming the LGBT community, and whether you’re planning a weekend trip or a destination wedding, I encourage all to come explore the Empire State.”

Last month, Governor Cuomo invited hundreds of tourism experts to Albany to discuss new ways to bring tourists to every corner of the state. At the conclusion of the Summit, the Governor Cuomo announced the launch of New York’s largest tourism campaign in decades, committing nearly $60 million to grow New York industries, create jobs and attract even more visitors to the Empire State. Marketing New York State to the LGBT community was a part of the Governor’s commitment to further growing the job-creating, revenue-producing tourism industry.

“The LGBT market is of such immense value to the tourism industry, so New York is to be commended for launching this cutting-edge niche tourism initiative,” said Cristyne Nicholas, Chair of the New York State Tourism Advisory Council and CEO of Nicholas & Lence Communications, a New York based strategic communications firm. “Because so much of LGBT marketing can be done through free or low-cost avenues, the cost/benefit ratio on this project is particularly attractive, allowing for a big bang for the buck.”

The new website features topic pages covering areas such as Arts & Culture, History, Food & Drink, Shopping, Relaxation, Family Fun, Outdoor Adventure and Nightlife. There are regional travel highlights, lists of local LGBT events and resources, and a wedding guide providing tools for same-sex couples to plan a wedding in New York State.

The larger I LOVE NY LGBT tourism initiative will also be well-represented at New York City’s Pride Parade this Sunday, June 30th, with marchers donning I LOVE NY rainbow heart t-shirts. There will be promotional giveaways and a booth at the PRIDE Festival to provide additional information about locations to visit.

“Many LGBT people, both in and out of state, simply aren’t aware that New York has an I Love Lucy museum, more ski slopes than Colorado, 250 wineries, the site where the women’s rights movement was born, one of the largest outlet shopping centers in the world, an annual festival celebrating the Wizard of Oz, a natural park larger than Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon combined, some of America’s best-rated beaches and so much more,” said Ross Levi, Vice President of Marketing Initiatives for Empire State Development, and the former Executive Director of New York’s statewide LGBT civil rights organization. “Before selecting their next travel destination, we want LGBT people to think of all of the world-class vacation opportunities there are for them right here in New York State.”

For more information on LGBT travel, visit New York State’s new iloveny.com/lgbt.