Celebrate love around the world.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard by now that June is officially Pride month! Whilst we all know that Pride celebrations are much more than just a day, weekend, or month long celebration, it’s a great chance to champion the LGBTQ+ community and some of the historic achievements that have been made over the years.
Pride is also the perfect opportunity to get travelling! Why stick to just celebrating at your local Pride event when you could be experiencing how other parts of the world celebrate all things LGBTQ+? With that being said, a handful of leading experts from the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) have provided us with their thoughts on the best places to visit, with help from the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). You never know, it may help spark up an idea for your next trip abroad!
“Travel unites us in so many ways,” said Erika Richter, Communications Director at the ASTA. “This year, we encourage travellers to extend their stay during Pride and consider an international host city in a place they’ve never been. It’s a one-of-a-kind chance to truly immerse in the destination while connecting with LGBTQ+ communities around the globe.”
Jacob Marek from IntroverTravels, an ASTA member and Virtuoso agency, agrees with Erika on extending a stay past Pride celebrations, as it will give you the opportunity to explore and see a country you may not have had chance to see otherwise.
Rob Clabbers, President of Q Cruise + Travel, urges people to not just limit themselves to those events in June either. “Internationally, some of the best LGBTQ pride festivals take place in other months,” he tells us.
Major events like those in Paris, France; Cologne, Munich or Frankfurt, Germany; and London are in July, for example. Events can also be known by different names: in Berlin, for example, the term Christopher Street Day is better known; while Sydney’s Mardi Gras takes place in March.
So, what are ASTA’s top recommendations then? Well, perhaps surprisingly, one of their top suggestions is Iceland. Reykjavik Pride, held this year from August 7-12, is a great opportunity to explore the land of fire and ice. Attracting over 100,000 guests from all over the year each year, it may initially seem like an unlikely choice but more and more people are heading to Iceland for celebrations.
Kareem George, Principal of Culture Traveler, says that “Pride month provides an inspiration to visit iconic destinations in celebration of their diverse, vibrant LGBTQ communities.” His top choices for an European Pride celebration include Zürich, Vienna and Milan, whilst also recommending Buenos Aires in November or Cape Town in February.
Speaking of Buenos Aires, this year’s Buenos Aires Gay Pride (Marcha del Orgullo) will be held on November 10. The LGBT Pride Parade will see the community celebrating from Plaza de Mayo up to the Plaza del Congreso. In November, the city also hosts the Asterisco film festival and the Queer Tango Festival, which are further recommendations to experience.
Fancy celebrating Pride at the start of the year? Cape Town Pride in South Africa happens in late-February. South Africa openly embraces LGBTQ+ visitors, and became the world’s fifth country to legalise marriage equality in 2006.
From Dallas to Sri Lanka, or even Latvia to Auckland, chances are there will be some form of Pride celebrations happening in a location that appeals to you. Have a look around, think outside the box, and make sure you embrace part of the city you’re visiting at the same time too!
If you haven’t planned your travel yet, don’t worry. You haven’t missed the party boat. Check in with your travel advisor or find an ASTA LGBTQ travel professional on www.TravelSense.org.
Don’t forget to check out the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s (IGLTA) ace 2018 International Gay Pride Calendar for a thorough list of all the places to be feeling the Pride this year.