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Travel Notes

Finding the perfect getaway has just got a whole lot easier for LGBT travellers looking to explore the best of Australia with a new, dedicated retail travel store opening on Sydney’s famous Oxford Street and a Visit Gay Australia guide set to launch soon.

The new store, unveiled by gay-owned and operated travel retailer and tour operator, Planetdwellers, during this year’s Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, has welcomed thousands of visitors since opening and is primed to cater to the holiday needs of LGBT travellers seeking tailored touring options.

Mario Paez, co-founder of Planetdwellers and President of Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia (GALTA), said the new store is a one-stop shop for LGBT travellers looking to book their next break.

“Oxford Street is the perfect location for our new store given its profile in Australia and around the world as a must-see for LGBT travellers, particularly during the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras when there’s so much energy and buzz around this area in particular,” said Mr Paez.

“Planetdwellers has a focus on tailoring the perfect holiday experiences for our LGBT guests and we create options that range from independent to escorted trips. Our team has over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry so we’re passionate and experienced when it comes to recommending Australia’s well-known and hidden holiday spots.”

Mr Paez said that a partnership between Planetdwellers and GALTA has added great value not only to his walk-in customers, but also to members of the Australian tourism body, who are able to have their brochures displayed year-round, in-store, on a ‘GALTA Members Wall of Pride’.

“We saw a great opportunity to not only enrich the range of relevant information available to our clients, but to also provide a real benefit to members of GALTA under the recently launched consumer marketing platform, Visit Gay Australia,” continued Mr Paez. “This partnership means that any member of GALTA can have a visible presence in one of Sydney’s busiest and most popular gay areas, and also benefit from the marketing that we undertake to attract people into the Planetdwellers store.”

“This initiative is just the first of GALTA’s many member marketing activities planned for 2017. We’re about to commence production of our first Visit Gay Australia printed travel guide, listing all GALTA members and providing destination highlights and travel tips. The guide will also be released as a mobile application.”

“We’ve also been working hard through pride event season to promote our members to thousands of people at Brisbane Pride, Feast in Adelaide, Mardi Gras, Melbourne’s Midsumma, Out in the Open at Shepparton, Cairns Tropical Mardi Gras, Sunshine Coast Pride and we’re heading to Daylesford’s ChillOut Festival later this month.”

“Our great partnership with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) continues, and we’ll be promoting Australia and our members to tourism professionals from around the world at the IGLTA Annual Global Convention in St Petersburg, Florida, in May.”

These latest initiatives follow on from a range of activities launched by GALTA in 2016 including the introduction of the consumer brand, Visit Gay Australia, new website www.visitgayaustralia.com.au and the rolling out of social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram.

Image: Planetdwellers GALTA Members’ Wall of Pride at the new Oxford Street store (supplied)

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