Delta sponsors gay and lesbian guides

Altus Group has welcomed Delta Air Lines as a national sponsor of the City Navigaytour.Delta is the first major airline to support the travel guide, which is written specifically for gay and lesbian tourists, as part of its commitment to diversity.

The agreement will support Altus Group’s national expansion as it launches guides in Southeastern cities including Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.

“This is a huge endorsement for the City Navigaytour as a vehicle for reaching gay and lesbian travelers,” said David Jefferys, president of Altus Group and publisher of the City Navigaytour.

Gays and lesbians represent one of the strongest travel demographics. As a group, lesbian and gay travelers spend more than $55.1 billion annually on tourism according to Community Marketing, Inc., a gay and lesbian market research firm. In addition, gays and lesbians have the highest per-capita spending in the United States at more than $42,000 per person.

The City Navigaytour was founded in Philadelphia in 2002 as an outgrowth of Altus Group’s award-winning, “Philadelphia: Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” tourism campaign. The campaign established Philadelphia as a gay-friendly city and also spawned the City Navigaytour.

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“The idea was to provide an orientation tool so that visitors could enjoy all that Philadelphia had to offer,” Jefferys said.

To help establish the guides, he worked with local tourism organizations to develop content and gain support. Over time the Navigaytour caught on, providing unique access to gay and lesbian visitors.

Based on their success, Jefferys expanded the guides to several new cities including Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Diego and New Orleans and attracted national retail and hospitality advertisers. Then, he set his sights on expanding into Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, widely acknowledged as a hub for gay travelers.

In August, he began talking with Delta, which offers a wide range of domestic and international travel destinations for the gay community and had been actively seeking a print partner to reach gays and lesbians.

“Given Delta’s focus on the GLBT community, we have been looking for additional ways to reach this vitally important travel demographic,” said Scott Slater, Delta’s director of Agency, Leisure and Segmented Sales. “Based on Altus Group’s experience with gay consumers and the Navigaytour’s track record in other cities, it was clear that they were the right partner to help us in our efforts to stimulate awareness in the markets of our diverse customer bases.”
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