CHICAGO – February 11, 2012. One year after signing historic civil union legislation, Governor Pat Quinn today announced the launch of a new section of the state’s official tourism website tailored toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) travelers. “Pride Illinois” features LGBT-friendly and/or owned travel destinations, attractions, accommodations, events and more throughout Illinois.
“Our tourism website helps visitors map out their visits to Illinois by giving them information about the great places and activities Illinois has to offer,” Governor Quinn said. “Tailoring the site to meet the needs of LGBT travelers will help them make the most of their visit while supporting the growing Illinois tourism industry.”
The new “Pride Illinois” section of the Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) website – www.EnjoyIllinois.com – furthers Governor Quinn’s efforts to boost tourism and foster equality in Illinois by highlighting the variety of sites, entertainment and activities for LGBT travelers visiting Illinois. “Pride Illinois” is organized by each of the state’s four travel regions.
“Pride Illinois” offers yet another resource for people traveling throughout the state,” said Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director Jan Kostner. “We are excited to offer more detailed information to assist LGBT travelers as they discover Illinois.”
The “Pride Illinois” section provides a listing of TAG Approved® accommodations throughout Illinois.
A TAG Approved® property enforces non-discriminatory policies, treats heterosexual and domestic partners equally in personnel policies, and provides LGBT diversity and sensitivity training for employees. In addition, the property employs staff reflective of the diversity of their community, gives back to its community, and empowers customers and employees to act as watchdogs of its LGBT business practices.
According to the LGBT 2020 Study conducted by OutNow Global, LGBT travelers spent an average of $1,974 on leisure travel over the past twelve months. The study also showed that 78 percent of LGBT consumers prefer to stay at “gay-welcoming” hotels. OutNow Global is an LGBT marketing agency formed to better understand the lives and concerns of the LGBT community.
Illinois is the sixth state in the nation to allow civil unions. In January 2011, Governor Quinn signed historic legislation providing same-sex couples with the same full state legal rights as married couples.
For additional information on “Pride Illinois” and to find attractions, destinations and events statewide, visit www.EnjoyIllinois.com.