Join an important, timely and lively conversation Tuesday, December 8 at 12:30PM ET

Join an important, timely and lively conversation Tuesday, December 8 at 12:30PM ET with key leaders in DEI in travel, tourism, hospitality and events moderated by LGBTQ travel marketing expert Ed Salvato (yep, yours truly!) and brought to you by the travel safety gurus at GeoSure. We’ll discuss issues of extreme relevance and urgency to today’s business and leisure marketing and risk assessment executives.

Our experts will discuss how to:

Leverage today’s travelers’ diamond-sharp focus on safety

  • Understand and empathetically respond to the specific concerns of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQ, women and other disproportionately risk-aware travelers
  • Learn how to drive increased tourism across all demographics by authentically engaging with and providing true inclusive welcome to diverse travelers
  • Empower and engage all travelers to contribute to the safety of destinations, attractions and events
  • Build durable loyalty and trust among travelers and other stakeholders

Register here!

Join Me In Person (!) or Virtually at Connect THRIVE Summit 2020

https://www.bigmarker.com/series/connect-thrive-summit/series_summit

Connect THRIVE Summit focuses on community development through LGBTQ travel, sports, and entertainment, and we have many of the leading authorities on LGBTQ+ marketing speaking at this year’s event. Including yours truly!

Unable to attend the event in-person? THRIVE has got you covered. 

They are live streaming all of the awesome content from the Connect THRIVE Summit in-person event from Orlando, FL on Nov. 9-10 directly to you.  Register for the Live Stream here.

So tune Monday at 10:15 am ET to hear my LGBTQ marketing talk. I’ll also be a guest on the DJ Doran Podcast streaming live at 1:15pm ET. Here’s the complete schedule.

Catch Me at WSYTC Online 2020 on Thursday, October 8 at 2:15pm Speaking about LGBTQ Travel

WYSTC 2020 Online starts Wednesday, October 7, and I have the privilege of speaking on Thursday at 2:15 PM EDT. I will share tips and insights in my session: “Invite, respect and protect younger LGBTQ travelers.” Register now to secure your place.

For a preview of the session, read this interview that WYSTC conducted with me regarding my advice for those interested in the lucrative LGBTQ travel segment.

Excerpted from an interview with WSYE on marketing to LGBTQ travelers and LGBTQ travel safety

How do you approach businesses that are based in regions where treatment of the LGBTQ community is not considered?

I approach all businesses with the understanding that there are challenges and opportunities within the LGBTQ community. Whatever the end of the marketing spectrum organisations are at towards promoting themselves in the segment, businesses will continue to receive increasingly diverse guests. I urge organisations to at least understand how to authentically engage with and welcome all guests. 

There are still approximately 70 countries that criminalize homosexuality, including 11, where the punishment is the death penalty. There are nearly 30 countries that offer marriage equality. The welcome LGBTQ travelers receive depends on more than the legality, and you can be warmly welcomed in a legally anti-LGBTQ destination and receive terrible service in an LGBTQ-friendly destination. Implementing inclusivity practices across external operations all comes down to the level of awareness and training for both marketers and customer-facing staff.

What are some examples of what organizations that serve youth travelers are currently doing to make LGBTQ travelers feel welcome?

Youth travellers are a market that expects an inclusive service, no matter their orientation or gender identity. Hostels, for example can implement smart policies such as de-segregating same-sex dormortories for accommodating guests with non-normative gender identities. There are many other ways to affirmatively make LGBTQ travellers feel welcome, some practices include;

  • Partnering with and promoting attractions, history and culture of interest to the segment.
  • Simple signage, a well-placed rainbow decal can be very effective!
  • Inclusive web content and social media.
  • LGBTQ welcoming and inclusive staff training.
  • Private toilets for individuals.

I’ve helped organisations conduct audits of all marketing materials and mystery shopping to assess the true welcome LGBTQ guests receive.

What are the typical “bad service” scenarios you have heard about/ experienced during your time training organizations? Where do you think organizations “go wrong”?

Scenarios I hear about often are when staff make assumptions about guests based on perceived relationship status or gender, for example, two women checking in are assumed to be sisters and are offered separate beds, masculine-presenting people are referred to as “gentlemen” even if they do not identify to this gender-norm, or children are asked where their mother or father is when the two parents of the same gender are present. I recommend understanding and using non-gendered language, including “they” as a pronoun. 

If the customer-facing teams make mistakes that could cause the guest anxiety, or a loss of business. The very nature of travelers and guests is changing rapidly before our eyes. Education is critical for all staff to deliver authentic engagement and a warm welcome to all guests. This is a learned technique. If the customer-facing teams are making costly mistakes, it’s the responsibility of the organisation to rectify that through appropriate training.

Do you think that organizations and destinations that promote themselves to travelers from the LGBTQ community understand the safety requirements these travelers need? If not, where do they start in gaining this knowledge?

In a word, no. Most organizations now understand they need to have a well-lit parking lot or a defibrillator as part of their duty of care. But very few understand that to authentically welcome LGBTQ and other diverse guests you have a duty of care to understand them and their needs, behaviors and concerns and protect them as you would all your cherished guests. You have to learn a little about the history of LGBTQ travelers and the pitiful lack of welcome (and open antagonism, abuse and worse) they’ve suffered. Sure, LGBTQ travelers can travel more openly in more places but when you think that 70 countries still criminalize homosexuality and that even in supposedly safe countries, LGBTQ people can still be harassed, abused or worse, it’s no wonder they are more cautious about the travel decisions they make compared to others. The good news is that this segment rewards even small acts of inclusiveness with their loyalty and a little training and strategy can go a long way! It also been proven that when you offer a more engaging and authentic welcome to LGBTQ travelers, you tend to offer much better service to ALL guests. So the investment you make with this segment pays dividends throughout your business.

Tell us a little about yourself. What drew you to the tourism and hospitality industry? 

After working for several years in market research and obtaining my MBA, I had a great career but was dissatisfied. I’ve always loved to travel and tell people about my trips and after extensive soul searching I had a simple but profound epiphany about my true passion which led me to tourism & hospitality.

I moved from Boston to LA to start a job as the editor of a small, but important gay travel publication called OUT & ABOUT. That company was acquired and I became editor in chief of The OUT Traveler and editor of several online publications including; The Advocate and Out. I co-founded ManAboutWorld, the first app-based queer travel magazine and HospitableMe Consulting, which offered strategic consulting and inclusive hospitality training.

I am now a solo practitioner through Salvato Consulting offering LGBTQ marketing strategy, travel safety and inclusive hospitality education and training to tourism and hospitality brands and the meetings industry.  I pride myself on offering smart, actionable consulting and education that is never condescending and never assumes familiarity with the rich but complex culture of the LGBTQ segment. Not everyone is comfortable talking about this subject, and I understand that. Professionals in hospitality and tourism must address the topic, and it’s crucial to have a seasoned facilitator to create a productive, safe and enjoyable conversation with actionable learning outcomes.

New York City Love Letters: A Few Shots That Grabbed My Eye

A few New York City scapes caught my eye on an 18-mile jaunt down and back up the island of Manhattan. 🚲 🌃 ☀️ 🌳

Times Square is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually. Approximately 330,000 people pass through Times Square daily (well NORMALLY) many of them tourists,while over 460,000 pedestrians walk through Times Square on its busiest days (again normally). Formerly known as Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the then newly erected Times Building, now One Times Square. It is the site of the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop, which began on December 31, 1907 and continues to attract over a million visitors to Times Square every year
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. The South Building’s tower was designed by the architectural firm of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons and erected between 1905 and 1909. Inspired by St Mark’s Campanile, the tower features four clock faces, four bells, and lighted beacons at its top, and was the tallest building in the world until 1913
The New York Life Building is the headquarters of the New York Life Insurance Company at 51 Madison Avenue in New York City. The tower is 40 stories tall, consisting of 34 office stories topped by a pyramidal, gilded six-story roof, and was constructed in 1927–1928. It overlooks Madison Square Park in the Rose Hill and NoMad neighborhoods of Manhattan.
Fancy-pants multi-level cantilevered condo building on Delancey.
This mural raised $12,500 for the tenement museum
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. It was built between 1902 and 1904. The church building, designed by the noted architectural firm of Schickel & Ditmars, who were generally responsible for the designs of Roman Catholic commissions or other clients of German descent. The congregation was founded in 1868 after splitting from St. James’s Lutheran Church. Most New York Lutherans were German in the nineteenth century, and “Holy Trinity was one of a very few English-speaking Lutheran congregations. The first church was at 47 West 21st Street, in the edifice originally built for St. Paul’s Reformed Dutch Church.”

New York City Love Letters: A Hawk and Other Magnificence along Riverside Drive

A get-out-of-the-house-for-any-reason bike ride south along beautiful and under-appreciated Riverside Drive, which stretches from West 158th Street to West 72nd on the far west side of Manhattan along the Hudson River. You’ll find lots of beautiful parkland, gorgeous apartment buildings, presidential monuments, churches oh, and this red-tailed hawk. 🚲 🌃 ☀️ 🌳

Look who swooped just inches over my head then up to perch on this traffic light. A red-tailed hawk. According to my avid bird-watcher friend Christian Cooper “the ones in this town are true New Yorkers… They just don’t give a shit about you. In the country they get spooked if you get within 100 yards!” — at Riverside Drive.
This bronze equestrian sculpture of military officer, educator, journalist, and public servant Franz Sigel (1824–1902) is by the distinguished sculptor Karl Bitter (1867–1915). Sigel was a patriot both in his native land of Germany and in his adopted home in the United States. He was born on November 18, 1824, in Sinsheim, Baden.
Completed in 1902, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Monument is a monument located at 89th Street and Riverside Drive in Riverside Park in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. It commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War. It is an enlarged version of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, and was designed by the firm of Stoughton & Stoughton with Paul E. M. DuBoy. — at Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (Manhattan).
Completed in 1902, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Monument is a monument located at 89th Street and Riverside Drive in Riverside Park in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. It commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War. It is an enlarged version of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, and was designed by the firm of Stoughton & Stoughton with Paul E. M. DuBoy. — at Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument (Manhattan).
rosa rugosa, which is a very tough and shoreline tolerant rose. It's non-native, but has naturalized in many beach areas on the East Coast.
rosa rugosa, which is a very tough and shoreline tolerant rose. It’s non-native, but has naturalized in many beach areas on the East Coast.
Fancy Waterline Square condos.
Fancy Waterline Square condos.
Riverside Park; https://riversideparknyc.org/
Riverside Park; https://riversideparknyc.org/
Me doing my Bill Cunningham impression
Me doing my Bill Cunningham impression

New York City Love Letters: A Beautiful Spring Day

A gorgeous day for a (socially distant “en masque”) bike ride 🚲 🌃 ☀️ South on 2nd ave from 124th > west on 14th > north on 6th through Central Park then home.

Such a gorgeous venue! Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, within Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, it is the headquarters for the Rockettes, the precision dance company. Radio City Music Hall was built on a plot of land that was originally intended for a Metropolitan Opera House. The opera h… See More — at Radio City Music Hall.
From any angle, this is a great building. The Empire State Building is a 102-story[c] Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and built from 1930 to 1931. Its name is derived from “Empire State”, the nickname of the state of New York. The building has a roof height of 1,250 feet (380 m) and stands a total of 1,454 feet (443.2 m) tall, inc… See More — at Empire State Building.
Detail of 1251 6th Ave. 1251 Avenue of the Americas, formerly known as the Exxon Building, is a skyscraper on Sixth Avenue (also known as Avenue of the Americas) in Manhattan, New York City, between 49th and 50th Streets. It is owned by Mitsui Fudosan. The structure is built in the international style[2] and looks like a simple cuboid devoid of any ornamentation. The vertical façade consists of al… See More — at 1251 Avenue of the Americas.
In 1836, Peter Gerard Stuyvesant (1778–1847) – the great-great-grandson of Peter Stuyvesant[9] – and his wife Helen (or Helena) Rutherfurd reserved four acres of the Stuyvesant farm and sold it for a token five dollars to the City of New York as a public park, originally to be called Holland Square, with the proviso that the City of New York build a fence around it. As time passed, however, no fen… See More — in Stuyvesant Square.
Closed due to the pandemic but this is a giant and beloved (by many) department store. Macy’s Herald Square (originally named the R. H. Macy and Company Store) is the flagship of the Macy’s department store chain; it is located on Herald Square in Manhattan, New York City. The building’s 2,500,000 square feet (230,000 m2),[3] which includes 1,250,000 square feet (116,000 m2) of retail space, makes it among the largest department stores in the United States. The store has stood at the site since 1901. — at Macy’s.
Rutherford Place began life as a maternity hospital, but the hospital was converted in the mid-1980s into a residential building. This prewar building is a classic example of the Beaux Arts architectural style. Its conversion was praised for maintaining many of the building’s historically significant detailing and ornamentation. Rutherford Place is found in the neighborhood of Gramercy Park, an area known for its prewar buildings. — at Rutherford Place.

Remembrance of Travel Past: Inn on Randolph

My friend who owns the gorgeous and super LGBTQ-friendly Inn on Randolph in California touched base with me. With stay-at-home orders still in place and most people unwilling or unable to travel, business has been very severely affected — as in many very worthy venues. The all-woman-run Inn on Randolph is just fabulous, with a relaxed yet luxurious feeling, super comfortable rooms, DELICIOUS food and of course fantastic wines from nearby Napa, Sonoma and beyond.

The Inn on Randolph in Napa is gay friendly. Can't wait to visit when it's open again1
Some of the happy guests at the Inn on Randolph

I wanted to include the piece I published in ManAboutWorld Gay Travel Magazine here as a reminder of an unforgettable visit with a group of LGBTQ leaders and travelers a few years ago and a hope to visit again soon!

Here’s the gorgeous garden where they’ve conducted same-sex wedding ceremonies.

We love the LGBTQ-welcoming Inn on Randolph, an incredibly hospitable 10-unit bed and breakfast. It’s located on a leafy residential street a pleasant, brief walk from downtown Napa, California. The (all-woman) staff is cheery, super accommodating and knowledgeable about the innumerable options worth considering in the area. Don’t miss the gourmet breakfast, and be sure to return later in the day for their delicious cookies. Accommodations include bathrooms with heated, hardwood floors (much of which is original to the 19th-century mansion), pillow-top beds, wine refrigerators with bottles for purchase, televisions, bath robes and slippers. We stayed in the main house which gives you instant access to those cookies, but the five separate cottages provide more privacy.

Our group enjoyed numerous bubbly toasts!
Here’s the shady, comfortable back deck of the Inn on Randolph

New York City Love Letters — Birthday Edition: Beauty That Caught My Eye

Today’s socially distant exercise bike ride — birthday edition! A bit grey and cold and yes there were a few snowflakes BUT the sun popped out along with my iPhone and I snapped a few pix. At the end I included a few from a previous walk in a nearby park. A little green to brighten up this surprisingly cool spring. 🚴‍♂️

Detail of sculptures at Hearst Building at Columbus Circle.

“There is no finer example of “old meets new” in the world of New York City architecture than the Hearst Building on Eighth Avenue and 57th Street. In 1926, William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper publisher who was the model for “Citizen Kane” commissioned Joseph Urban to design a new Manhattan headquarters for his growing media empire. Urban, best known for his set designs for the Ziegfeld Follies, approached the project as if it were an elaborate theatrical extravaganza. A six-story cast-concrete base adorned with giant fluted columns and 8 allegorical statues representing Comedy, Tragedy, Music, Art, Industry, Sport, The Sciences and Printing was completed in 1929. The plan was to add a soaring tower on top of the base, but the Depression intervened, and the additional floors were never added.”
Built in 1884 … The Dakota, also known as the Dakota Apartments, is a cooperative apartment building located on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, United States. Its construction was completed in 1884. The Dakota was the home of John Lennon, a former member of the Beatles, from 1973 until his murder in the archway of the building in 1980. 
Maine Monument honors the 260 American sailors of the USS Maine, which sank in Havana, Cuba in 1898. Atop the monument is a gilded bronze sculpture of Columbia Triumphant in a seashell chariot led by three hippocampi (half horse, half seahorse); it is said to be cast from the guns of the ill-fated ship. The sculptures at the base depict allegorical figures of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Courage, Fortitude, War, Justice, and Peace.
I love this giant sign paying homage to nurses.
Close up of plants in the park.
Central Park
The Century is an apartment building located at Central Park West and 63rd Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. It was constructed in 1931 at a cost of $6.5 million and designed by the firm of Irwin S. Chanin. The Century is designed in the Art Deco style, unlike many of its neighbors, which are designed in the Beaux-Arts style.
Einstein mural by street artist Kobra in Chelsea, NYC.
A section of the Museum of Natural History, NYC
A walkway in the park.
This is from an earlier walk in my neighborhood park
Also my neighborhood park St. Nicholas Park
Plant in my neighborhood park
Beautiful old trees along Central Park West
Plant in St. Nicholas Park
Detail from the Maine monument (goes with the golden statue at the beginning of this series) at Central Park
Super tall at Columbus Circle
Super tall at Columbus Circle

New York City Love Letters: A Spin (Almost) All Around Manhattan

I had sincerely intended to simply hop on my bike and enjoy a nice long socially distant exercise bike ride … but I just can’t help myself. A historic building caught my eye; then a view of Brooklyn and before you know it, I snapped a few more photos. Sigh! Hope you enjoy these haphazard images. 🚴‍♂️

One image I think is symbolic of these rides is the near perfect trace of Manhattan as captured by my Strava (cycling tracking) app. (Check out the last photo.)

Beneath the Williamsburg Bridge, a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278). Completed in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge span in the world until 1924.
This has the catchy name of Slip 5 Battery Maritime Building (BMB) — in New York, New York.
A view of Red Hook, Brooklyn from the southern tip of Manhattan — in New York, New York.
The bikeway beneath the colorful underside of FDR Drive. — in New York, New York.
A view north of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges — in New York, New York.
The Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is located in the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, a Roman Catholic parish church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York at 7 State Street, between Pearl and Water Streets in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. — in New York, New York.
Love this contrast of the old and the new (the same church from the previous photo is peeking in at the lower right) — in New York, New York.
Who says nothing pretty came out of the 60s? 😉 1 New York Plaza is an office building in New York City’s Financial District, built in 1969 at the intersection of South and Whitehall Streets. It is the southernmost of all Manhattan skyscrapers. The building is 640 feet tall with 50 floors, and is the 100th tallest building in New York City. — in New York, New York.
The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278). Completed in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge span in the world until 1924. — in New York, New York.
Abandoned building on East River
Cool view of the Empire State Building looking north and west from a bulge in the lower east side of Manhattan so that a portion of the East River is in the foreground.
These two residential buildings are conjoined via this glass walkway which includes a pool! “The dancing building.” (See comments below)
So beautiful. Headquarters of the United Nations Building. The United Nations is headquartered in New York City, in a complex designed by a board of architects led by Wallace Harrison, and built by the architectural firm Harrison & Abramovitz. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manh… See More
View west of the Chrysler Building through Tudor City, which is a Tudor City is an apartment complex located on the southern edge of Turtle Bay on the East Side of Manhattan in New York City, near Turtle Bay’s border with Murray Hill. It lies on a low cliff, which is east of Second Avenue between 40th and 43rd Streets and overlooks First Avenue. Construction commenced in 1926 making it the first residential skyscraper complex in the world. Tudor City was one of the first, largest, and most important examples of a planned middle-class residential community in New York City It is named for its Tudor Revival architecture.
This was the route of my bike journey (as traced by my Strava tracking App)
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