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July 7, 2004

Gay Travel with Gary:
Travel Trends in the Gay & Lesbian Community

BY
GARY TRICK

Over the past few weeks I've had a number of dealings with Herb Bryan of Chicago-based Zoom Vacations. We discussed the needs and desires of the Gay and Lesbian traveler at length and I thought I’d share some of the findings with ChicagoPride.com readers.

The Gay and Lesbian Traveler is looking mostly for unique, interesting destinations. Rarely something that their “straight” counter parts would find as an interesting vacation. Soft adventure, historical destinations as well as beaches, fun and sun are the places to go. Costa Rica comes to mind, as does Thailand and Peru. The places to vacation are only limited by your imagination.

The most important things that the Gay & Lesbian traveler is looking for are gay friendly accommodations and activities. Convenience along with safe and comfortable hotels, relaxation and entertainment are equally as important.

Zoom Vacations develops their tour programs to be value driven, refusing to send anyone on a trips that doesn’t meet their high standards. I feel that most gay and lesbian tour operators do the same.

We also agreed that the economy and 9/11 did not make the gay & lesbian community stop traveling!

Next month I will share very basic traveling points! Packing and how not to wrinkle your clothes, airline and cruise ship security and more! For more information on Gay & Lesbian Travel contact me at travelman03@hotmail.com.

HAERI MAI,
Gary

Feature Destination: New Zealand!

Travel Trends in the Gay & Lesbian Community
When you arrive in New Zealand you will hear “KIORA” a very unique way of saying, “Welcome”. It seems appropriate, as New Zealand is a unique Country. A combination of English influence with a rich Polynesian culture makes up the population. The Moori people are original settlers of the Islands and we have all come to know their beautiful tattoos throughout the world! New Zealand is an active lifestyle in the cities and laid-back in the farming areas.

New Zealand is divided into 2 main islands; the “north island” with its main city of Auckland and capital of Wellington and the “south island” with Christchurch as the main city. The North Island is known for its Volcano’s and thermal pools. The South Island is known for its beautiful mountains, glaciers and forests. Both Islands have fantastic skiing as well as magnificent beaches. Being am Island nation a beach is usually about a 20-minute drive from almost anywhere populated! Bungee Jumping began in New Zealand!

New Zealand is gay friendly having revised their laws concerning homosexuality in the 1980’s. The “HERO” festival is held yearly in February and is a great trip before Sydney’s Mardi Gras.

The people of New Zealand seem to be warm, loving and care about people in general. I’d like to thank Nathan, a great friend of mine, for helping me with the native words!

 
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