Monday, November 28, 2011

SAS follows up LGBT success


Scandinavian Airlines is following up its LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) campaign “Love is in the air”, one of 2010’s most successful social media campaigns, with an improved LGBT micro site ( and a gay version of the popular SAS Crew Guide concept. SAS has also won numerous awards for its LGBT focus this year.

“We launched ‘Love is in the air’, a campaign ending with the world’s first gay and lesbian weddings in the air, as we had fallen behind our competitors in attracting LGBT customers. As the campaign reached over 150 million people worldwide and we had over 550,000 unique visitors to the Love-site, we managed to position us as one of the world’s leading airline amongst one of the most loyal and high-yield customer groups,” says Anders Lindström, PR Director, SAS.

The SAS Crew Guide concept has for the past seven years been a global success, and earlier this year it was turned into an app. For the LGBT audience, SAS has now created a gay video version of the popular concept, with three videos where SAS crew shows Anton Hysén the best of Stockholm has to offer in terms of restaurants, museums and activities. Hysén made headlines all over the world earlier this year when he became the first active and youngest sportsman to come out. The three videos – Eat, Play and See – are now available on SAS’ LGBT microsite A preview of the films made its Hollywood premiere last week at a major PR event organized by VisitSweden.

The microsite is aimed as a one-stop shop for LGBT travelers going to Scandinavia, with introductions, maps, tips and links for the Nordic capitals. The content is provided by the various tourist boards, as well as Swedish gay network QX and the Stockholm Gay and Lesbian Network. SAS was the first European airline to launch a microsite specifically for the LGBT market, whereas most US carriers have had one for almost a decade.
“Compared to our competitors, who spend a lot of money creating pretty ads claiming they’re LGBT-friendly, SAS is focused to create activities that clearly show that we are LGBT-friendly. We have noticed that this creates a greater value for SAS within the LGBT community,” says Anders Lindström.

Approximately 6-8% of the population in the Western world is LGBT, whilst LGBT travelers account for approximately 15% of total revenue within the travel industry. At SAS, it is estimated that every 13thcustomer is LGBT.

SAS has also been praised for its LGBT focus within the last year. IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) named SAS Innovator of the year and Flightglobal awarded SAS Online Campaign of the year, whilst the Love campaign was also nominated as PR of the year at Sweden’s Stora PR Priset, Social Media Campaign of the Year at the prestigious European-wide Digital Communication Awards and most recently for the Brand Experience Award.

Gay Couple Called Antigay Slur By United Airlines Agent

By Julie Bolcer via the Advocate

Billy Canu and his partner said their holiday travel was disrupted when a United Airlines agent called them “faggots” during an exchange about access to the lounge at Denver International Airport on Saturday.

ABC 7 News reports that Canu and his partner were waiting for their flight home when they became confused about access to United’s Gold Lounge on Concourse B. They approached nearby United agents and were met with “a very condescending, sort of rude” answer that prompted them to complain. A manager approached and escalated the situation, even threatening to throw them off their flight to San Diego if they continued to complain, according to the couple.
“As we were walking away he goes ‘idiots,’” Canu told ABC 7. “So, my partner turned around and started walking up to him and said, 'I'm sorry. What did you say?'"

"He [the manager] says, ‘What f*****s,’” said Canu.

ABC 7 declined to identify the accused United employee, but in a more detailed account on Facebook, Canu identified him as Rodney Hill. In a statement to the news station, United said it was reviewing the complaint and “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”

Canu and his partner are seeking an apology from the airline.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Logo’s New Now Next Travel Award winners announced!

The people have spoken, the votes have been counted, and the winners have been chosen.

According to Logo voters New York is the #1 gay travel destination in the U.S. while Montreal is the #1 worldwide travel destination. But this year’s true surprise is that voters named Columbus, Ohio it's NewNowNext destination!

And here are the Winners…

Best US Destination: New York City
Best Global Destination: Montreal
Best Luxury Hotel: Peninsula Chicago
Best Resort: Encore Las Vegas
Best Hotel Chain: W Hotels & Resorts
Best Airline: Jet Blue
Best Annual Event: Mardi Gras, Sydney
Favorite Travel Show: The Amazing Race
Sexiest Spot: Rio de Janiero
NewNowNext Destination 2011: Columbus, Ohio

Did you vote? Do you agree with the list?


NewNowNext is Logo Digital’s hub for the latest in music, TV & movies, fashion, design, travel, beauty and health.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tour operators forbidden from marketing Vancouver as gay-friendly in China

By: Justine Hunter via

In its new China tourism strategy, the B.C. government has agreed to ignore the fact that Vancouver is a destination for gay tourism.

A marketing document released on the eve of Premier Christy Clark’s trade mission to China states that tourism operators marketing trips to the province for Chinese people must agree not to promote casinos, gambling or gay tourism.

The directive has angered gay activists in B.C.

B.C. Tourism Minister Pat Bell, in conference call from China on Monday, said the federal government accepted the terms when it negotiated approved-destination status with China last year, and B.C. had no say in the matter.

Mr. Bell’s office last Thursday released How to Market Your Business to China, one of its a tourism business essentials guides. Buried midway through the 60-page document is a single line noting that B.C. operators are prohibited from promoting casinos, gambling and gay tourism in China.

Approved-destination status allows tourism operators in Canada to market their services in China, and Chinese tour operators to organize and promote travel packages to Canada.

“Those are identified by the Chinese central government as areas where they don’t think there is opportunity to market into British Columbia,” he told reporters. In a later call, he said B.C. simply wanted to ensure that its tourism operators understood the rules: “We’re not necessarily endorsing the specifics.”

Ms. Clark, in a conference call from Shanghai, was caught off guard when asked about the restriction. She refused to comment, telling reporters she wasn’t aware of the details. “One of the things we want to do in our relationship with China is engage more. ... That will help further some of the ideals we hold dear in Canada.”

Tourism Vancouver devotes an entire section of its website to gay tourists, enthusing: “The largest gay population in Western Canada lives in this ocean-wrapped and snow-capped city [with] a wide variety of restaurants, coffee shops, pubs and boutiques catering to gays and lesbians.”

Candice Gibson, Tourism Vancouver’s consumer marketing director, said gay tourism is worth more than $60-billion annually around the globe. “Vancouver is a gay-friendly destination,” she said. “Obviously, we want people all around the globe to be aware of that – but our focus is on the U.S. market.”

Jennifer Breakspear, executive director of Qmunity, which bills itself as B.C.’s queer resource centre, said she was disappointed that B.C. would accept the restriction as the price of doing business in China.

Her organization hosted thousands of international tourists at Pride House in Vancouver and Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. “We had a lot of media exposure about how Vancouver, British Columbia, is a very progressive and accepting destination where tourists could be comfortable being who they are,” she said. “I guess the government is going to toe the line in China, but it’s troubling back at home.”

Spencer Chandra Herbert, the New Democratic Party critic for tourism, said the province should have at least expressed some regret in accepting China’s terms.

“For the provincial government to be putting out a brochure without a disclaimer is troubling to me,” he said. “It sends the wrong message when we are supposed to be – and should be – a society fighting discrimination and standing up for love, whether it be between two men or two women or a man and a woman.”

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Passenger sentenced to 21 months for dealing drugs on gay cruise

By Fran Golden via

A judge in the U.S. Virgin Islands yesterday sentenced a California man to 21 months in prison for dealing drugs to fellow passengers on the 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas.

Steven Barry Krumholz pleaded guilty to the charges in July.

The West Hollywood man had been arrested in February when the ship docked in St. Thomas. The Allure of the Seas was at the time chartered by Atlantis Events, the sailing on the world's largest ship billed as the world's largest gay cruise.

U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez said Krumholz used his cabin on the cruise ship "as if it was an apothecary for controlled substances," the Associated Press reports.

Police at the time of his arrest said they found more than 142 ecstasy pills, methamphetamine, a small amount of ketamine, and about $51,000 in cash in Krumholz's cabin.

He had faced up to 20 years in prison.

Royal Caribbean said it fully cooperated with authorities during the investigation.