The Illinois Office of Tourism has launched two new LGBTQ brochures to assist travel agents selling to this growing market.
Entitled ‘Travel with Pride in Illinois’, the brochures feature itinerary suggestions and places to eat, drink and stay, top attractions and shopping and popular summer festivals taking place across the gay-friendly state.
“The trip ideas are another component of our international commitment to the LGBTQ Market,” said Cory Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism.
“Illinois’ comprehensive LGBTQ marketing campaign includes TV, print and digital advertising, hosting fam trips for LGBTQ media from UK and German markets and sponsorship of key travel trade events which allow us to engage directly with the market and network with major players.”
Starting in Chicago’s vibrant LGBTQ neighbourhoods, Boystown and Andersonville, the trip ideas continue to attractions and festivals around Illinois. Suggestions for Chicago range from the Legacy Walk Tour to Lake Michigan’s Hollywood Beach and Broadway in Chicago.
The town of Galena, which is near the Mississippi River, and only a few hours’ drive from Chicago, has a historic Main Street, wineries and one of the largest hot air balloons in the country.
Additionally, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is located in Oak Park (just minutes from the city and in the birthplace of Ernest Hemmingway), with 25 other Wright-designed buildings in surrounding neighbourhoods.
Popular annual summer festivals include the Chicago Pride Parade (one of the world’s first and the largest of its kind), International Mr Leather (IML), Northalsted Market Days, CU Pride Festival in Champaign-Urbanan and Springfield PrideFest, a street fair focused on a day of embracing diversity and celebrating Central Illinois’ LGBTQ community.
Illinois also offers many LGBTQ-friendly accommodation options, including Galena’s Jail Hill Inn, a modern B&B that was once the county jail; the design-led, high-tech boutique hotel ACME Hotel in Chicago; and the historic Drake Hotel which offers easy access to dining, nightlife and world-class shopping along one of America’s most famed shopping boulevards.
Another feature in the brochures is Illinois Made which was recently launched by the Illinois Office of Tourism. Showcasing artisans, makers and small businesses across the state, Illinois Made celebrates the products and experiences that are unique to the state and are helping to drive tourism.
There are several Illinois Made artisans included in the itinerary suggestions such as Optimo Hats in Chicago, Blaum Bros. Distilling Company for high quality, small batches of rye, whisky and vodka, and Galena Cellars Winery and Vineyard for award-winning local wines.