An effort to spread the message of the Windsor-area being a welcoming tourist hot spot for the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered has resulted in a unique marketing campaign.
It’s also one that David Lenz, president of the Windsor-Essex Pride Festival, believes will be highly successful, citing the genuine growth of awareness and acceptance of the LGBT community throughout the area over the past number of years.
In fact, it was Windsor’s demonstrated leadership in this area that enabled the grant that fueled the campaign, added Lenz.
“The growth (in these areas) has really been phenomenal,” he said. “From school boards, to all non-profits, to hospitals, it’s really growing here. It’s exciting. There was a time people didn’t talk about the LGBT community, and there certainly wasn’t any money spent on marketing to it. It’s really taken off since about 2005.”
A product of Travel Gay Canada, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island and Pride Fest Windsor-Essex, the campaign is hoping to highlight the many attractions that the area has to offer by specifically zeroing in on the LGBT community – a market segment well-targeted from a financial perspective, said Lenz.
“There is more than $73 billion is spent by the LGBT community throughout North America each year on travel,” he said. “That includes all your hotels, dining and everything that goes along with it. That’s a huge market.
“The majority of this community doesn’t have kids, so they have more money for wining and dining.
“My partner and I went to Australia for two weeks and spent $12,000. (The campaign) has just a tremendous amount of potential.”
The package also includes diversity training for employees of tourism-based destinations. Lenz said it’s all part of making the LGBT just another everyday face in the crowd.
“This will help people in those industries deal with things like, ‘What if you see a gay couple kissing in your restaurant? How do you deal with that’ It’s all about raising awareness.”
The campaign will look to target members of the LGBT communities throughout Ontario, Michigan and Ohio.
For more, visit wepridefest.com