LGBTQ tourism could mean big money for Austin

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – A new campaign is in the works to bring in more LGBTQ events – big and small – to Austin.

Council members asked the city’s Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to work with the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau to make a larger push for LGBTQ specific events like Austin Pride, and to coordinate smaller events attached to larger festivals like South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.

Jimmy Flannigan with the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce said if the campaign works, tourists could come from all over the region.

“If you’re gay or lesbian, bisexual or transgendered and you want to travel, you have to go a thousand miles from Austin to go to another city you’d want to go to,” Flannigan said. “There’s a huge footprint of LGBT people we aren’t reaching and if we could reach to them they’d come to Austin and spend their money here.”

While a typical traveler will spend about $1,500 during a trip, the average LGBTQ visitor spends closer to $2,300. Proponents of the campaign say if it works, it could be a win-win for everyone in town.

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