Could Collier County Be the Next Top LGBTQ Tourism Destination?

The Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB has put together their first marketing ad targeted toward LGBTQ people. (Screenshot from video ad provided by CVB)

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For years, Collier County has been a hot-spot for tourists. However, it hasn’t always been one of the major LGBTQ tourism destinations. Lately, the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Collier County is trying to change that. Find out more about the organization and how they plan to attract the gay community.

What is the Purpose of the Convention and Visitors Bureau?

The Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a Collier County office. They are dedicated to promoting and supporting tourism to Naples, Marco Island, and other areas of Collier County. In addition to tracking the impact  of tourism on the economy, the bureau also provides information about visiting Collier County.

One of the main responsibilities of the CVB is to handle advertising for Collier County. During the busy season, drawing a crowd isn’t difficult. But attracting tourists in the off-season takes a little more effort. In the summer, tourism quiets down. Now, the CVB wants to attract the LGBTQ population to Collier in the slow months.

Why the LGBTQ Population?

In general, Collier County doesn’t attract only one type of tourist. The destination attracts people from all over the world. Everyone is unique, and there is no “standard” tourist. Before the CVB started targeting LGBTQ people, Collier County was already a vacation choice for many.

However, current marketing could make it one of the top LGBTQ tourism destinations. According to Michelle Pirre of the CVB, they decided to change the focus of their marketing upon recommendation of their hospitality partners. Although there are other markets they want to target, LGBTQ is one of their first areas of focus.

And Pirre was happy to help with the marketing efforts. Pirre has several gay family members. She explained, “I love it. I am really passionate about it, everyone is welcome in paradise!” In fact, Pirre believes part of what makes the area such a paradise is the “diversity and beauty of the area.”

Naples and surrounding areas might not have a gay scene comparable to big cities. However, they are very welcoming of people from all walks of life. There are several places that have activities directed at the LGBTQ community. And individuals of any sexuality can enjoy the beautiful beaches of the area.

How Will the CVB Promote the Region as an LGBTQ Tourism Destinations?

There are a few ways in which the CVB plans to attract the LGBTQ community. For one, they created a welcoming video that appeals to the LGBTQ community and those looking for destination weddings.

Furthermore, they have a gallery of Instagram photos  celebrating LGBTQ tourists. The CVB also made marketing materials specific to their advertising goals. Pirre is a member of the Naples Pride Fest Committee. As such, she also plans on marketing at Naples Pride Fest.

In the future, CVB plans on attending the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association conference. At the conference, the CVB will meet with tour operators and travel agents who focus on LGBTQ travel. Additionally, they plan on attending the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. When the CVB appears at trade shows, they will continue to include some LGBTQ marketing.

Showing Pride in Collier County

Thanks to the CVB’s efforts, more LGBTQ people can realize all that Collier County has to offer. The CVB’s marketing efforts has landed them advertisements on Conde Naste’s LGBT channel. Advertisements may also appear on GQ, Bon Appetite, and other channels. With these efforts, people might realize the area is an ideal vacation or destination wedding location.

To learn more about the CVB and why Collier County should be one of the major LGBTQ tourism destinations, click here. Their visitor’s center is located at 2390 Tamiami Trail N #210 in Naples.

For more on Pride, click here.

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may, 2024

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