World Rainbow Hotels, the gay and lesbian travel organization which made the headlines nearly two years ago as the first ever supplier of gay-friendly hotels on the Global Distribution System (GDS), launched a new website on August 1, 2012 allowing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) consumers to find and book genuinely gay and lesbian-welcoming hotels.
Now boasting partnerships with over 175 hotel brands, including high-profile names such as Kimpton, Morgans, Design Hotels, Joie de Vivre, Thompson Hotels, Rocco Forte, Orient Express, Four Seasons, and Fairmont, World Rainbow Hotels has endeavored to set a new standard regarding the oft-misused concept of “gay-friendliness.”
World Rainbow Hotels’ brand director Nicolas Wijnants said, “Too often hoteliers claim their establishment is gay-friendly but then fail to deliver on their promise. Gay and lesbian consumers want more than a rainbow flag in the window, they want to feel genuinely welcomed as gay and lesbian individuals and they want to know that the hotel’s staff understands their travel concerns. World Rainbow Hotels’ mission is to give hoteliers all the right tools to make sure gay and lesbian guests are pleased with their stay.”
The online reservation portal selected more than 850 three to five-star properties in 129 global destinations through a rigorous set of screening criteria, including their current involvement with the LGBT community, compliance with non-discrimination policies and same sex benefits for their staff.
Member hotels are encouraged to undergo LGBT welcoming training and required to put together their own information guide about their local gay and lesbian scene.
These guides, called Out & About, provide information such as the destination’s best gay-friendly restaurants, the best gay or lesbian clubs and bars as well as special events. This information is visible online on the hotel’s profile and available to guests at the hotel’s concierge.
Wijnants added, “Gay-friendly means that from the moment our guests make a reservation to the time they check out, they can just relax. They won’t be placed in the awkward situation of having to ask for a double bed instead of twin beds and they won’t have to think twice about requesting room service when they are in bed with their lover. Guests won’t be pressured to explain anything or justify anything or come out to the hotel staff, it’s already taken care of. Going to a World Rainbow Hotel is like going to an LGBT embassy, where guests can feel safe.”
Besides the many renowned international chains, World Rainbow Hotels also feature many award-winning boutique hotels, apartment-hotels and resorts.
World Rainbow Hotels managing director Mark Lewis said, “Whilst our website only lists hotels in places where attitudes to LGBT travelers are friendly overall, not all countries have changed their laws in line with what is socially acceptable. Therefore, having up-to-date information is key to avoid any unsavory experiences. Our goal is to provide our customers not only with the best gay-friendly hotel, but also with all the relevant tools to ensure their stay is as pleasant as possible.”
Source: World Rainbow Hotels