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New York State Launches I Love NY LGBT Tourism Website

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jul 01, 2013 12:24 AM EDT

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New York has pride and to show it, the state has launched a new campaign to draw in gay tourists.

As part of the new "I Love NY LGBT" website, the iconic I Love NY logo has gotten a rainbow makeover with a rainbow heart instead of a red heart. The new tourism marketing is aimed at the LGBT community as New York celebrates Pride week. During Sunday's gay price parade in New York City, some marchers wore shirts representing the made over logo, CBS reports.

"This is a travel segment that does a lot of travel, spends a lot of money," Ross Levi of Empire State Development told WCBS 880. The campaign group says that LGBT tourism is a $70 billion a year industry and there is plenty for the LGBT community to do and see in New York.

According to the group running the campaign, LGBT tourism is a $70 billion a year industry. Smith said New York has plenty to offer.

"Many LGBT people both in and out of state just simply aren't aware that New York State has an 'I Love Lucy' museum in her own hometown and more ski slopes than Colorado and 250 wineries," Levi said. "New York is the number one destination with the LGBT community and there is just so much for them to see in all corners of the state."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports the new campaign and believes it is a good thing for the state's tourism industry.

"New York State has a tremendous variety of 'must see' destinations for all travelers of different interests - whether they are wine connoisseurs, history buffs or outdoor adventurers. The website will be an important tool to help attract visitors, encourage spending in our communities and create jobs in the industry. New York has a proud history of welcoming the LGBT community, and whether you're planning a weekend trip or a destination wedding, I encourage all to come explore the Empire State," Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.

Pride Week 2013 is particularly special as the U.S. Supreme Court just declared that the Defense Of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, giving gay couples the same benefits as straight couples.

"If you're planning a wedding, there's really no better place you can come than New York," said Levi. "With the DOMA decision, there are now more reasons than ever for LGBT people to plan destination weddings."



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