Arizona lures gay tourists as gay marriage ban debate heats up

Posted on 19 Jan 2006 at 11:55pm
By Associated Press

PHOENIX Conservatives are working to add a gay marriage ban on the ballot, but Arizona cities are working to welcome more gay tourists into the state.

The cities are vying for a slice of an estimated $65 billion gay travel market. To do that, cities are marketing the area as a cosmopolitan, tolerant place to vacation.

“My money spends like anyone else’s,” said Albuquerque resident Andee Henderson, 38, who was among the estimated crowd of 5,000 attending the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association’s annual competition at Rawhide over the weekend.

With an 89-page visitors and relocation guide published by the Phoenix gay chamber of commerce flying off the shelves, Phoenix leaders are planing to discuss ways to strengthen the city’s gay tourism plan.
Officials in Tucson, Sedona, Bisbee and Jerome say they informally angle for those visitors.

Tempe is in the midst of a sophisticated campaign to lure gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travelers. It began three years ago.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of January 20, 2006.

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