Philly's straight-forward push for gay tourists

PHILADELPHIA -- This city launched a marketing campaign to attract gay and lesbian travelers from the U.S. and Canada.

The city's tourism office intends to spend some $300,000-- including $200,000 for print and online advertising -- on the effort.

The ad theme, developed by Althus Group of Philadelphia, is: "Get your history straight and your nightlife gay."

Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp., said gay and lesbian travelers are a $54.1 billion market, yet they remain "a virtually untapped segment of the travel industry, and with the support of Philadelphia's gay and straight community, we are proud to officially 'come out' as a gay-friendly destination."

Levitz said her tourism office surveyed some 700 gay and lesbian travelers to learn about their travel patterns. The campaign will encompass cooperative advertising with city attractions.

The first print ads will begin appearing next month in New York.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

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