Travelers searching for flights and hotels online in the early 2000s likely remember Orbitz® among the leading travel sites of the dotcom boom. What they may have forgotten is why the travel brand was much-loved. The answer stems in large part from its early commitment to the LGBTQ community, which the travel brand is reigniting today with the launch of Orbitz.com/Pride, a new online travel destination featuring LGBTQIA welcoming hotels, travel guides and advice from diverse travel experts and influencers in the queer community.
“Culturally, we’ve come a long way since 2001 when Orbitz created the first gay print ad for travelers,” says Orbitz Brand Director Carey Malloy. “Still, we know that there is much work to be done in making the larger travel community more open and accepting for everyone. That’s why we’re re-launching a LGBTQIA microsite we first pioneered almost two decades ago for a new generation.”
The original Orbitz LGBTQ microsite, GayOrbitz.com, launched in 2002 and was one of many firsts for the Orbitz brand in support of the LGBTQIA community. Since then, Orbitz created the first mainstream TV ad featuring an unambiguously gay couple, was the first travel brand to hire a drag spokesperson, Miss Richfield 1981, and last year the travel site celebrated the 50th anniversary of Pride with its list of trending destinations and celebrations.
Among what’s new to Orbitz.com/Pride are hotels that meet a higher inclusivity standard. Hotels must meet criteria – such as staff training on sexual orientations and gender identities or inclusion of LGBTQ-friendly activities and recommendations to guests – to be listed on the site. Orbitz is planning further enhancements and additions to the microsite later this year and into 2021.
“As a brand, we’re rededicating ourselves to making a more inclusive travel experience, and that starts with our travel partners and extends to how we use our data, travel reviews and more to serve up recommendations and advice,” says Malloy. “This is another first step for our brand of many more to come.”
Visit Orbitz.com/Pride to search for LGBTQIA welcoming hotels and travel advice and follow Orbitz on Instagram and Twitter for inspiration and travel deals.