New Integrated Marketing and Communications Campaign to Showcase World’s Leading Gay and Lesbian Destination to International and Domestic Visitors in 2009

Travelocity Packages to Drive Tourism to NYC; New LGBT Calendar of Events and Content to Highlight Birthplace of Gay Rights Movement

New York City (April 7, 2009)—City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta today announced the City’s first-ever integrated marketing and communications campaign to promote gay travel to New York City, a yearlong initiative to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Through an international and domestic print, outdoor, Web, and communications campaign, the Rainbow Pilgrimage will showcase New York City’s vibrancy while highlighting its reputation as a gay- and lesbian-friendly travel destination. It will emphasize a visit to the destination as a “rite of passage” for the gay and lesbian traveler. In addition, through a relationship with Travelocity, Rainbow Pilgrimage travel packages, bookable at, will be available for the LGBT community to book trips to New York City throughout the year. The announcement took place at NYC & Company’s Official NYC Information Center in Midtown Manhattan.

“New York City is the birthplace of the gay rights movement, and has long attracted LGBT visitors from around the world. As we mark the 40th anniversary of Stonewall this year, there’s even more reason to come celebrate the history of the LGBT community. We’re proud to be working with NYC & Company to launch the Rainbow Pilgrimage campaign, which will help connect visitors with great events, transportation, and LGBT-friendly businesses around the city,” said Speaker Christine Quinn.

“New York City is an iconic destination for the gay and lesbian visitor,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “We are eager to invite and welcome even more gay travelers to visit New York City in 2009 not only to celebrate the historical significance of the Stonewall Riots anniversary, but also to take in all the energy, beauty and vibrancy our great City has to offer.”

NYC & Company will launch Rainbow Pilgrimage advertising which will generate more than 300 million impressions in key markets. Digital banner messaging will commence April 13 in markets such as the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States asking travelers to “Join the Rainbow Pilgrimage and Plan Your Journey.” Outdoor ads will also appear beginning later this month through June in two key international markets, the United Kingdom, the city’s number-one international market, and Spain. A Rainbow Pilgrimage print ad will also appear in the June/July issue of Out magazine, a leading U.S. gay publication, and outdoor media (bus shelters and street banners) will appear throughout New York City to further promote the new gay initiative. All of the media elements are worth $1.9 million in value.

To help more gay travelers more easily plan their future visit to New York City,, a new Web microsite, featuring original editorial content and a comprehensive five-borough LGBT Calendar of Events, was unveiled today. Additional elements of the new site include listings of must-see gay landmarks in New York City and gay-friendly spring cultural highlights. A cornerstone event of the year will be the NYC Pride celebration, taking place June 20–28. The annual celebration marks the June 27 anniversary date of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

Also featured on is the trailer of the “Out in the City” documentary, co-produced by NYC & Company and acclaimed documentary filmmaker George Hickenlooper. The thirty-minute documentary, which premiered on LOGO on Jan. 16, celebrates the City’s LGBT heritage, and features individuals sharing their personal experiences and background history on the LGBT community in New York City while showcasing some of the unique and exciting things to see and do in the City. Individuals appearing include both members and friends of the LGBT community, including Isaac Mizrahi, Cynthia Rowley, Murray Hill, Kate Clinton, Florent and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. It will air again on LOGO on May 2 and 3.

In addition to domestic travel packages, bookable on through Travelocity, will power packages for travelers from the UK, as will Viva Tours, for travelers from Spain.

“We’re excited to be partnering with NYC & Company to provide the booking engine for LGBT travel packages as part of the Rainbow Pilgrimage initiative,” said Tracey Weber, president of Travelocity North America.

New York City is the most-visited U.S. destination for gay leisure travel, capturing a 24% share, according to San Francisco–based Community Marketing, Inc. The City is also the number-one destination for gay and lesbian business travel, making it the primary destination for the LGBT community in the U.S.

The Rainbow Pilgrimage campaign was created in collaboration with NYC & Company’s creative agency of record, Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

About NYC & Company
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.

For information on visiting and experiencing New York City, go to or visit the Official New York City Visitor Information Center at 810 Seventh Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets in Midtown Manhattan.

Kimberly Spell / Chris Heywood
NYC & Company

Eunic Ortiz
Office of Council Speaker
Christine Quinn