Tag Archives: NYC

U.S. Tourism Welcomes a Tentative World


You are welcome here—no really, you are, we promise—has been the predominant U.S. travel campaign theme of 2017.

The travel industry has been working overtime to offset a negative international perception of the United States since the presidential election. Cities such as Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco (to name a few) have invested in various versions of “Welcome” campaigns. In February, Hyatt Hotels launched the “World of Hyatt” integrated marketing campaign during the Oscars® broadcast, with a video celebrating empathy and multiculturalism. In June, Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, announced their “One Big Welcome” strategy, using personalized video invitations from “real people” to attract potential visitors.

Unfortunately, the President’s “America First” political message is translating to “America Alone” when attracting international tourism. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1.3 million fewer foreigners visited the United States during the first half of 2017. The New York Times  reported that European readers overwhelmingly cited the Trump administration and its policies as reasons for avoiding travel to the United States. And last month, the National Brands Index, a global survey measuring perception of fifty nations, saw the U.S. drop from No. 1 to No. 6, in overall nation brand.

International travel is America’s number one service export, boasting an $87 billion international travel trade surplus last year.  In an article in Worth, Roger Dow, the president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association writes, “The Trump administration has yet to convey a sustained message of welcome to international visitors. Long-term failure to do so will unnecessarily deter travelers, which could have disastrous consequences for the U.S. economy.”

While we wait….
and wait…
and wait…
Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite, inclusive travel campaigns of 2017:

Los Angeles: #EveryoneIsWelcome

Hyatt: “World of Hyatt”

San Francisco: #AlwaysWelcome

(Photo via NYCgo.com)


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Filed under Gay, Hotels, Travel News, U.S.A.

The Week in Travel (6/14/2013)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the  highlights:


*June is Gay Pride Month, with rainbow-themed festivities and parades all over the U.S.  For anyone who has ever wondered why these celebrations are still important, click through for your answer (via CNN).

*Save by booking your summer vacation on the first day of the season.  On June 21,”CyberSummer” offers 24-hour travel deals throughout the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico, Latin America and South Africa (via CyberSummerTravel).

*As summer descends on NYC, its residents ascend to the city’s rooftops.  Raise your glass at an elevated bar (via Time Out) or shimmy up toward a gay rooftop party (via Next Magazine).

*Celebrate Father’s Day at a destination named for Papa (via AOL).

*Seventy-five years ago, Fascist Italy exiled homosexuals to the Tremiti Islands, creating both a prison regime and the country’s first gay community (via BBC News).

*Russian parliament confirms gay travel dollars are not welcomed in their country by unanimously passing an anti-gay bill that bans–among many other things–gay pride rallies (via Herald Sun).

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo via Policymic)

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The Week in Travel (4/26/2013)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

I'm too sexy for this country.

I’m too sexy for this country…

*The price of beauty is deportation.   Or so discovered Omar Borkan Al Gala (pictured above) and two other men, deported from Saudi Arabia for being… wait for it… wait for it… too handsome (via Asiantown.net).

*Time to expand your destination wedding options.  On Tuesday, France became the 14th country to allow same-sex marriage (Yahoo).  The next day, the Rhode Island Senate approved legislation to make the “Hope” state the 10th in the U.S., in addition to Washington D.C., to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples (via The Advocate).

*In other sweet news, earlier this month two men married in Africa’s first traditional gay wedding (via Daily Mail).

* In the Navy, yes, you can sail the seven seas, but apparently cannot afford to dock in New York City.  This year, Congress has sequestered the sailors.  Because of federal budget cuts, the Navy’s annual Fleet Week is cancelled (via AMNY).

*More than ever, support Boston with your travel dollars… here are ten reasons why (via PeterGreenberg.com).

*Go big or stay home!  Splurge at a hotel worthy of your holiday (via Conde Nast Traveler).

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.


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The Week in Travel (3/22/2013)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

Snakes on a Plane

If he only had a knife…

*Your liquid soap, cologne and moisturizing lotion over 3.4 ounces will still not be allowed in your carry-on, but your knives, ski poles and toy bats can board the aircraft, effective April 25, 2013 (via CNN).

*Scraping the sky on Instagram from 2,716 feet (via Huffington Post).

*Rumor has it, “air rage” is on the rise (via CNN).

*Boys will be boys, and bears and beasts and stags and trees.  Photographer Charles Fréger captures men of Europe dressed in outfits wilder than the National Tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (via National Geographic).

*The same oil that fried up your lunch might be powering your next flight to Europe (via BBC).

*Curious about the sexual orientation of a building?  Tour the Gayest Buildings in America (via California Home & Design).

*A time-lapse film captures New York City in the fast lane (via Kickstarter):

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo: Still from movie, Snakes on a Plane)

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The Week in Travel (2/1/2013)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:
Nude dude San Francisco

*You can leave your heart in San Francisco, you can be sure to wear flowers in your hair, but don’t forget to cover your “genitals, perineum, and anal region,” now that the city’s ban on nudity has officially gone into effect (via RT).

*With Valentine’s Day approaching, woo your honey-bunny at one of the “ten romantic places to see before you die” (via Times of India).

*NYC, what is it about you?  See for yourself in this stunning 360 degree, interactive map (via The Telegraph).

*You might want to reconsider your trip to Russia, as the country’s anti-gay law–already in place in St. Petersburg and other cities–aims to criminalize “homosexual propaganda” nationally (via Edge).

*Enjoy a pink and magenta hued lunch with Ken, at the world’s first Barbie restaurant, now open in Taiwan (via CNN).

*Some like it hot… while some not.  The travel doctors at MAW take the “sexual temperature” of the 19 gay resorts in Ft. Lauderdale (via Man About World).

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo via Reuters)


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NYC Storm Recovery Update

As the recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy continue to evolve, here’s the latest news from NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York: 

Marathon Update:
The 2012 ING New York City Marathon has been cancelled. We would like to share the following statement from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg:


“The Marathon has been an integral part of New York City’s life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch. While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division. The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it. We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event – even one as meaningful as this – to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track. The New York Road Runners will have additional information in the days ahead for participants.”


  • JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport have all reopened. Check with individual carriers regarding specific flight confirmations.
  • Taxi service and express shuttle-bus service are available into the City. Shared shuttles and private transfer companies are operating on a case-by-case basis and many are experiencing delays due to volume.
  • AirTrain JFK has resumed limited service. Visitors can pick up AirTrain shuttle buses at the Howard Beach and Jamaica subway stations for transport to all airport terminals. Consult mta.info for current information regarding service between Manhattan and the Howard Beach and Jamaica stations.
  • AirTrain Newark has resumed service. Visitors can take AirTrain to/from NJ Transit’s Newark Liberty International Airport Station, which connects to the Northeast Corridor Line to New York Penn Station. Please note that NJ Transit’s Northeast Corridor Line is currently running on a special schedule.


  • Taxis and livery car services are operating throughout the City.
  • The public transportation system is slowly being restored within the City. There is limited subway service on several routes, supplemented by a bus shuttle between Downtown Brooklyn and Midtown. A modified map reflecting service changes can be found here. At this time, there is no subway service between 34th Street in Midtown and Downtown Brooklyn. Visit mta.info for information regarding specific subway lines.
  • Public bus service has resumed throughout the City and is running on a normal weekday schedule with delays.
  • Additional service is now available on both the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, although not all lines are running and trains may not be operating on a regular schedule.
  • Most major highways, bridges and tunnels into the City are open to traffic. The Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) and Queens Midtown Tunnels remain closed. The Holland Tunnel is currently open only for buses entering Manhattan in the mornings and leaving Manhattan in the afternoons.
  • NYC has ended the ban requiring High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) restrictions for vehicles entering Manhattan between 6am and midnight via bridges and tunnels. Vehicles will no longer be required to have at least three occupants.
  • The Staten Island Ferry service has resumed with half-hourly service in both directions. Regular service returns on Saturday, November 3.
  • East River Ferry Service has resumed.
  • Amtrak is now providing Acela Express and Northeast Regional modified service on the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., via New York City. Before traveling to Boston South Station, New York Penn Station, Philadelphia 30th Street Station or other Amtrak locations, passengers should make reservations and/or use the eTicketing option with their computers and smartphones.


  • Before traveling, visitors are advised to re-confirm their hotel reservations directly with the property, regardless of location.
  • In Midtown Manhattan, most hotels are open and operating, with the exception of a few hotels near a construction incident on 57th Street, including Le Parker Meridien, West 57th Street Club by Hilton and Salisbury Hotel.
  • Power outages are widespread in Lower Manhattan, below 39th Street on the East Side and below 23rd Street on the West Side, affecting many neighborhoods and hotels in this area. Consolidated Edison has advised that power will be restored as soon as possible, but it could take several more days. The situation is improving frequently, however. Travelers holding a reservation for a hotel in this area are strongly advised to check with the hotel in advance of traveling.
  • Hotels in Brooklyn and Queens remain open, with the exception of the Wyndham Garden Long Island City/Manhattan View.

Cruise Ship Terminals:

  • NYCruise is coordinating with the US Coast Guard, and the cruise lines are working to return operations at the cruise terminal back to normal as quickly and safely as possible. Please continue to check the nycruise.com website and social media channels for updates on service, and make sure to contact your cruise line to confirm your itinerary before arriving for any cruise you may have scheduled.

Museums, Attractions and Broadway:

  • Many tourist attractions have resumed operations, including Broadway shows, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Empire State Building Observatory, Gray Line New York Sightseeing, Top of the Rock and some Circle Line Sightseeing cruises. Spirit of New York Cruises are expected to resume from Chelsea Piers on Saturday, November 3.
  • The majority of city parks are now open.
  • Some sites, particularly in Lower Manhattan, remain closed until further notice, including the 9/11 Memorial, South Street Seaport, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
  • For more information and continuing updates, visit facebook.com/nycgo or check individual websites.


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The Week in Travel (11/2/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

Sandy floods NYC

*It has been a rough week for the eastern coast of the United States.  Much of the region devastated by Hurricane/ Superstorm Sandy is still without power and is reaching an economic damage pricetag of $50 Billion.  (via USA Today)

*For those still trying to coordinate travel during the aftermath, every major U.S. airline is waving changing fees (via USA Today), and though the hotel situation in New York is grim, one website guides you through the options.  (via Hotel Chatter)

*In other news, the U.S. is electing its next president on Tuesday.  Take a politically inspired trip to get you in the spirit (via CNN), or escape the sound bites, talking heads and potential four years of horror–after voting, of course–by burying your head in warm sand.   (via CNN)

*Your vacation album will be the envy of all your Facebook friends after posting pictures from these top photography destinations.  (via Lonely Planet)

*Navigating a new city can be challenging, your iPhone can help.  (via AupairJobs.com)

*When it all just becomes too much to handle, escape to one of the “World’s Most Sensational Spas.”  (via Passport)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo via AP/Sandra Rose)

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NYC Celebrates Furry octoBEARfeast

Photo: Dick Mitchell,  Model: Gio  Photo: Dick Mitchell,  Model: Gio

Before winter hibernation, New York City bears are having a ball, and you’re invited to flaunt your PETA-approved fur for a good cause.   For the first time, the city’s LGBT Community Center (commonly called “the Center”) is expanding their popular gay bear dance party, Fur Ball, into octoBEARfest:  “a week-long celebration of everything furry.”

The Fuzzy Wuzzy festivities kick off with sustenance.  On Monday, October 1, the boys will celebrate Bear-BQ at Bone Lick Park restaurant with $3 shots and drafts, $3.50 margaritas, and 35¢ wings.  Tuesday brings the Bears & Beers fundraising dinner, with unlimited food and drinks and optional VIP bourbon tasting, at 508 Gastrobrewery.

To help you find the perfect napping partner after all that food, the Center will host Bear Bating on Thursday, October 4, a speed-dating event for bears and their admirers; and then the big daddy event of the week, Fur Ball on Saturday, October 6.

Headlined by DJ Corey Craig,  Fur Ball’s estimated  900 guests will take over every floor of the Center, with two dance floors, go-go-bears, and an outdoor garden.  And more importantly, all proceeds benefit the Center, whose programs range from hosting arts and entertainment events, advocacy groups and family gatherings, to offering youth, recovery and wellness programs.

So let your hair down, wear your God-given fur out, and celebrate for a Grrrrrrreat cause.

Visit the Center’s octoBEARfest website for tickets and additional information.

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The Week in Travel (9/14/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

*The hills are alive with the sound of “Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo.”  Halfway between Salzburg and Innsbruck, an Austrian hotelier recently opened what might be the world’s first hiking trail devoted to the art of the yodel.  (via BBC)

*The Golden Arches ditch the beef.   The world’s first all-vegetarian McDonald’s restaurants are opening at two of India’s most-visited pilgrimage sites: near the Golden Temple in Amritsar and at the base of the mountain shrine Vaishno Devi.  (via CNN GO)

*New York City will soon be a little less sweet.  The New York City Board of Health on Thursday approved a ban on the sale of large sodas and sugary drinks over 16 ounces.  (via NY Times)

*John Travolta banned for being creepy at the New York Peninsula Hotel Spa,  Paris Hilton banned for being a cokehead at the Las Vegas Wynn… See what other celebrities have been banned from top hotels.  (via Travel & Leisure)

*The times they are a-changin’.  Start planning your fall foliage getaway now.  (via NY Times)

*Flying can be a prickly experience.  A gay couple is suing United Continental Airlines for taking a sex toy from their bag, covering it in a “greasy foul-smelling substance” and taping the dildo to the top of their bag… to be discovered by all at baggage claim.  (via NBC News)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

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The Week in Travel (7/27/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

*Virgins are making headlines:  Australian Virgins are too sexy (via USA Today), American Virgins wear Banana Republic (via NY Times), and Atlantic Virgins are blushing. (via NY Times)

*Jesus, Mary and Joseph are replaced by Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey at the Damson Dene Hotel.  The peaceful retreat, located in the Lake District of England has swapped the Gideon Bible in each of its 40 bedrooms with the popular erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. (via Forbes)

*Marriage Equality Makes Money.  In the one year since New York became the sixth and most recent state to legalize gay marriage in the U.S., New York City has reaped $259 million of economic benefit and attracted 200,000 guests from outside of the city to attend same-sex wedding receptions. (via Bloomberg)

*Top Chefs pack their knives and open new restaurants in New York City. (via Next Magazine)

*These rooms will make a convert out of you.   Stay in a former monastery, jail or convent, recently crowned one of the world’s Top Ten Converted Hotels. (via Reuters)

*What would you do for a free vacation? (And by “free” I mean…) The online dating website, MissTravel.com, matches “Attractive Travelers” without money, and “Generous Travelers” willing to pay. (via USA Today)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo via NY Times)

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