USA Ft. Lauderdale features transgender models in new ads By Megan Padilla / January 11, 2017 Share 1 -- The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau has rolled out what it says is the world's first travel marketing campaign to feature transgender models. The three models will be used in campaigns directed to both mainstream and LGBTQ media outlets.The campaign, which also features straight, gay and lesbian models, marks the destination's latest outreach to the LGBTQ community and is designed to bolster its image as an authentic, diverse and inclusive brand.The campaign premiered in New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve with a billboard video featuring Isabella Santiago, a Venezuelan model and 2014 Miss World Transgender. Viewed by millions, the video was part of the backdrop to city's New Year's Eve ball drop.The ads rolled out Jan. 9 and will appear in print, digital, television, radio and social media. The new advertisements roll out Jan. 9 and will appear in print, digital, television, radio and social media throughout South Florida, New York, Boston, Chicago as well as in national outlets such as the New York Times' T Magazine, USA Today Travel Magazine, Passport and ManAboutWorld. Ads will also appear on Spotify, Pandora, Hulu and in the destination's collateral, website and e-blasts."Using trans models in our mainstream campaign says who we are as a destination; cosmopolitan, edgy, diverse, inclusive, authentic and accepting," said Richard Gray, managing director for the LGBTQ market at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We are the only destination in the world that is using trans people in mainstream marketing initiatives. That is a huge statement in itself, highlighting this destination's commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality. We want all travelers that visit our destination to be free to be themselves, to be free to be accepted and most of all to be safe and respected."The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has been proactively targeting and welcoming the LGBTQ market since 1996, when it became the first convention and visitors bureau with a gay-centric vacation planner and dedicated website on a CVB homepage. Since then, the destination has continued to break down barriers and facilitate essential visibility for the LGBTQ community at large. The destination now welcomes 1.5 million LGBT travelers annually, spending $1.5 billion. This past fall Greater Fort Lauderdale was selected as the site of the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference, the largest transgender conference in North America, which had taken place since its founding more than two decades ago in Atlanta.