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Britain Gay- Friendly Reputation Assured as London Voted Top For Americans

Britain Gay- Friendly Reputation Assured as London Voted Top For Americans (Forimmediaterelease.net) National tourism agency, VisitBritain, has welcomed London’s crowning as the best international holiday destination by American gay and lesbian travellers.

More than eight per cent of the 6,700 people surveyed* had visited the capital in the last 12 months, placing the city ahead of Paris and Rome – the only other European destinations to make the top ten. Survey respondents indicated that they chose leisure destinations because friends recommended them, they offer unique attractions, and are known for their gay-friendliness.

VisitBritain has long worked in the United States to promote Britain as a gay-friendly destination. Its new campaign runs until March 2008 with online and print advertising, as well as attendance at LGBT events, inviting travellers to “experience the colours of Britain”. The ads use the colours of the rainbow flag to draw attention to some of the destination’s iconic appeals: from the London Eye and red telephone boxes, gardens and landscapes to contemporary architecture and historic properties.

A website, www.visitbritain.com/rainbow, directs users to information about London as well as Manchester and to a top eleven list of ways to experience gay Britain a little “BRIT differently”: from ‘Sailor Chic’ at the National Maritime Museum and ‘Kylie’ at Kelvingrove Art Gallery&Museum to Brighton’s Kiss Wall, the “ladies of Llangollen” or 21st Century Kilts in Edinburgh.

Tom Wright, chief executive of VisitBritain, says: “Typically experienced travellers, who take longer holidays, we have marketed Britain as a destination in America’s gay and lesbian communities for nearly a decade. With American visitors down by five per cent so far this year, it’s important that we tell as many of them as possible about all they can enjoy in this country. In the tradition of Britain’s inclusive society, our campaign expresses the diversity of experiences that all our visitors, whatever their sexuality, can enjoy here.”

Britain’s reputation as a destination for gay and lesbian visitors was also behind London’s selection as host of the IGLFA World Championships (24-30 August, 2008) when 1,500 people are expected to come to Britain to participate in or watch the largest gay sporting event ever held in the UK.

For further information contact: Elliott Frisby, PR Manager, VisitBritain on 020 8563 3035 or 07951 996241 Notes to editors • The results come from the 12th Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Survey conducted by Community Marketing, Inc. (CMI). 7,561 LGBT consumers completed the survey, a fifteen-minute online questionnaire, in the 27-day period from Wednesday, September 5, 2007 to Monday, October 1, 2007. 6,764 of these respondents reside in the United States • VisitBritain is responsible for promoting Britain as a world class tourist destination and for developing England’s visitor economy. It has representatives in 36 countries around the world and, in the last three years, has expanded into China, throughout Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, and increased its presence in India with representatives in Bangalore and Mumbai. • In 2006, there were 32.7 million visits to Britain, 9% up on 2005. They spent over £16 billion in the UK: a 12% increase on 2005. Globally, the UK retains 6th place in visitor arrivals, slipping one place to 6th in spend. • VisitBritain’s international website, www.visitbritain.com, was awarded World’s Leading Tourism Authority Internet Site for the third year in a row at the 2006 World Travel Awards by more than 200,000 travel and tourism professionals. With information provided in 26 different languages, every year international consumers make over 12 million visits to the 46 websites that make up visitbritain.com. VisitBritain plans to increase this to 25 million by 2009. • An archive of media releases, information on VisitBritain's marketing activities, print quality, free-to-download images and more details about the work of VisitBritain in promoting Britain as a destination, can be found on VisitBritain’s online press centre, www.visitbritain.com/presscentre

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