Travel Expert

4 10 2018

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 2.57.38 PMEd Salvato is an LGBTQ travel expert, published author, occasional instructor at NYT Tisch School and Temple and chief content officer of ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine and HospitableMe (strategy, content marketing & LGBTQ training). Read his bio. Post comments below or send an email. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST POSTS, STORIES & PIX. 

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Mean Girls Day Is Coming Up. Wear Pink!

28 09 2018

Ed Salvato and boyfriend at Mean Girls on BroadwayIf you’re in New York, try to catch Mean Girls on Broadway. What a fun show with a lot of gay subtext and a gay character who is terrific. Remember “On Wednesday we wear pink.” Also remember that October 3 is Mean Girls Day. What, you ask? Recall “On October 3 he asked me what day it was.” Check out all the businesses in NYC celebrating the day.

We got to see it on Wednesday. You don’t see it in the photo but we were both wearing pink:) The audience seemed to include mostly gay men and high school and college age young women. And women their moms’ age.

Expect a story that reflects the movie but includes an amazing original score and a lead narrator character, Damian Hubbard, who’s gay and steals whatever scene he’s in.

Mean Girls is a musical with music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, a book by Tina Fey, based on the 2004 film of the same name written by Fey, which, in turn, was inspired by the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

The musical premiered at the National TheatreWashington, D.C., in October 2017 and opened on Broadway in April 2018 at the August Wilson Theatre.





Video: ManAboutWorld’s Travelin’ Tom Visits Kyoto, Japan

10 09 2018


Konnichiwa from Kyoto, Japan! For thousands of years, Kyoto was the cultural center and capital of Japan — and It shows. Kyoto boasts expansive temples and a deep sense of tradition. As Kyoto modernized, it never lost its sense of culture and history, making it a fascinating example of modern and ancient Japan living side by side.

Join Trav’lin Tom for a fun, fast-paced tour of temples, bamboo groves, food markets, and even Japanese karaoke.

Tom Goss is a ManAboutWorld global correspondent. He travels with his husband, Mike, all around the world and sends us these video updates. Click on his video and follow his KinosakeOnsen adventure. Follow Tom’s other video adventures here.

TOM’S ALSO A TALENTED PERFORMER

Tom is also a singer, songwriter, and filmmaker whose concerts and projects keep him constantly moving. When not traveling for work, Tom is usually traveling for fun. Check out his music at TomGossMusic.com and more Trav’lin Tom videos on YouTube.

Also connect with Tom on the following social media platforms:

Meet all of our Global Correspondents hereSubscribe to ManAboutWorld here and find insights from Tom, our global correspondents and the staff writers at the magazine Ed, Billy and Kenny.

Tom.Square.Bed





The importance of LGBTQ sensitivity and sales training

11 06 2018

Ed Salvato speaking about LGBTQ hospitality training at Proud Experiences London May 2018

 

I didn’t get any photos of myself talking but my friends at Proud Experiences did, and they even quoted me! “You can’t provide personalized service to LGBTQ people if you don’t understand us.

For more information about the services we provide at HospitableMe please review the information on our website, highlighted below.

Strategy
Diverse travelers are shaping the future of travel in profound ways. LGBTQ travelers have been a highly profitable niche for many years — today they are even more important, as the way they are represented, welcomed and treated can brand a destination as modern, progressive and desirable to a much broader population of future customers.

As advocates for suppliers and consumers, our work starts with strategy to bridge where your business is today, to where it needs to be to welcome diverse travelers of all kinds in the future. With a keen understanding of the financial, political and community implications for tourism businesses, our recommendations are smart, creative, and actionable.

  • Identify LGBTQ challenges, opportunities and market potential for your business
  • Create consumer-facing marketing and communications plans
  • Create action plans for destinations and brands that can’t openly market to LGBTQ
  • Leverage marketing, communications and training efforts to transform local service culture and increase welcome for diverse travelers of all kinds.

Marketing
With LGBTQ travel related spending reaching US $211 billion annually, there’s great value in target marketing to segments of the community. And there’s even more value in leveraging LGBTQ marketing and communications to reach allies and younger travelers. Many of our clients have strategic goals that go beyond increasing visitation by LGBTQ travelers. We help create communications programs that share a broader message about diversity and inclusion to position destinations and brands as modern, progressive and welcoming. We develop content marketing that leverages LGBTQ voices to elevate and align discussion around new and lesser known products, services and attributes. And we deliver LGBTQ consumers through programs on our own media (ManAboutWorld), third-party platforms including facebook and LGBTQ media, and your own platforms.

Training
We empower customer-facing professionals to engage with LGBTQ customers in authentic, intuitive and personalized ways. Our destination, company, and role-specific training provides knowledge and tools that enable

  • Understanding of LGBTQ specific issues and mindsets
  • Comfortable and confident connections with LGBTQ guests
  • Delivery of personalized, anticipatory service to diverse guests of all kinds

Our consumer travel-focused background is a unique advantage in understanding how diversity issues play out in real-world scenarios and building practical, meaningful competency among staff.  Our onsite trainings are customized to your specific service paradigms and delivered to small groups of up to 25 employees per session. Friendly, interactive, and emotionally resonant, our sessions explore how ingrained notions of gender, sexual orientation and relationship status have shaped service paradigms, and how stripping away preconceptions and bias allows more engaged and authentic hospitality for all guests. By helping employees understand LGBTQ guests, they become more inclined to engage rather than retreat from interaction with them.





CheckOut: Hotel X, Toronto

6 06 2018

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe brand-new, stylistically-striking Hotel X Toronto in Toronto, Canada is anything but yet another cookie-cutter urban luxury hotel crammed into a downtown lot. Hotel X Toronto is a very short taxi/Uber/Lyft ride from everything that Toronto has to offer; making it an ideal headquarters for enjoying Pride Toronto or any other event in Canada’s largest city. Story by ManAboutWorld correspondent, James Careless.

Amenities

Worth noting: The 404-room, 30-storey Hotel X Toronto is likely correct in claiming that it offers “a wealth of amenities unrivalled by any downtown hotel, including four indoor tennis courts, a full-service spa, two year-round heated swimming pools and TEN X TORONTO—a 90,000 square foot athletic centre with its own children’s area.” In addition to its restaurants (with options for vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan diets), Hotel X Toronto has an art gallery, beer garden, stadium-style movie theaters, event spaces, historical exhibits, and the three-storey rooftop SkyBar with – again – unparalleled views of downtown Toronto and the lake. The multi-story ‘living wall’ at the Front Desk – literally a vertical surface of plants rising high above one’s head – is impressive in its own right.

Rates

Hotel X Toronto is currently in what is known as a ‘soft opening’ until the end of July 2018, when it will officially open. This means that the hotel is still in the process of getting everything running – and giving guests price breaks as a result of it. (Note: Everything I experienced while there gave me the feeling that the hotel was fully operational.)

The good news: “During the soft opening period of Hotel X Toronto, you will find rates reduced as much as 30%,” said Celso Thompson, the hotel’s director of Sales and Marketing. “At any time, the hotel offers a prepaid, non-refundable option which clearly is the best deal if you are certain about your travel plans. Rates start at $350 for the entry level rooms.”

The bad news: You’ll have to go through Hotel X Toronto’s booking sites to get actual prices. Still, 30% is 30% off – and that is on top of the US dollar being worth about $1.20-$1.25 Canadian.

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Location

Located at spacious Exhibition Place (home of the Canadian National Exhibition – CNE — every summer, and various Class A events and conventions year-round), Hotel X Toronto is right on the shore of Lake Ontario. It is far enough from the downtown core to have a clear, unobstructed view of the lake, the nearby Toronto Island with its parks and airport, and Toronto’s major buildings; plus the lakeshore’s Ontario Place and the 1840s-era stone Stanley Barracks at Fort York.

Having grown in Toronto and spent many summers at the CNE in all its gaudy midway glory, I could never have imagined a true luxury hotel being located on the fair grounds. But much has changed at Exhibition Place. New convention/display buildings have been added (like the Enercare Centre) and older spaces renovated, while the rundown Exhibition Place grandstand has been replaced by the modern BMO Field (home of the Toronto FC pro soccer team). The historic Stanley Barracks next door has been restored and softened with the addition of gardens.

Add the fact that Hotel X Toronto is right on Lake Ontario, yet so close to the downtown hub (transit is available, in addition to taxis and walking), and this hotel combines the best of open waterfront breeziness with downtown urban access. It is a welcome alternative to the very best downtown cor hotels that are crammed together, through no fault of their own. (Runners will particularly like the quick access to the lakeshore and its open spaces, rather than being confined to car-packed downtown sidewalks.)

Room/Bathroom

I was fortunate to stay in a corner suite, on the 18th floor of Hotel X Toronto. I walked into an entrance hallway that angled left to the spacious modern bathroom (including a glass-walled shower with space for more than one), then turned right into a truly roomy bedroom with floor-to-ceiling full glass windows on two side.

The view alone from this suite justifies the price of admission. It is one of the best that I have seen in Toronto’s many downtown hotels. But the quality of Hotel X Toronto’s modern furniture and appointments is also worth mentioning: The wood, metal, leather and fabric far are above the usual hotel fare. They and the room’s fabric walls make you feel like you are staying in someone’s elegantly-decorated high-end condo; rather than yet another unsuccessfully pretentious hotel.

I was also struck by the bathroom’s elegant fittings, and the little details that were tended to; such as having two bathrobes and slippers available rather than just one. The room service was also a treat: What a luxury to have smoked salmon Eggs Benedict delivered to one’s room for breakfast!

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay Factor

If ‘Gay Factor’ translates into superb modern design with no false flash, elegance and quality in all things, and the sense that staying here somehow raises one’s game and sense of self, Hotel X Toronto has tremendous Gay Factor. That said, what I have just said applies to anyone, regardless of gender or orientation – as long as they have class, style, and a sense of how to comport themselves in public.

Meanwhile, Hotel X Toronto is a quick taxi/transit ride to everything in downtown Toronto; be it the city’s famous Gay Village, the Rogers Centre (home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club), the Theatre District, the business core, shopping, or the Toronto Island (accessible by an underground tunnel at the nearby Island Airport, or a short ferry ride across the harbor; well worth it).

About the Checkout

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.





Meet us at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show, March 24-25. Free Tickets Here!

22 03 2018

Gay travel experts Ed Salvato and Kenny Porpora at the Travel Show for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineMingle with LGBTQ travel businesses at the first-ever LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show, March 24-25. For FREE tickets, click here and enter code MANVIP18. You’ll meet the ManAboutWorld team (pictured above) along with representatives of the following awesome businesses which offer tours, cruises, experiences or insurance catering to LGBTQ travelers and their family and friends.

  • Wild Rainbow African Safaris: Owned and operated by Jody Cole, the business runs under one simple philosophy—ensure every traveler has the time of their life.
  • HE Travel: Adventure, culture, leisure or luxury, HE Travel is the leader in gay travel tours and gay adventure travel today and for the last 40 years. .
  • AIG Travel: Whether you’re planning a two-day getaway, a cruise, an adventure vacation, or a month-long international holiday, Travel Guard is designed to fit every traveler and budget.
  • Depart SmartDepart Smart is on a mission to make travel awesome in life-saving ways with online tools and safety certification.
LGBTQ TRAVEL PAVILION AT THE DENVER TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOW

All are welcome at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show  first-ever LGBTQ travel pavilion! Learn about hot destinations and events as well as tours, cruises and experiences right here in the U.S .and to the farthest corners of all seven continents and on the high seas — for gay, lesbian, transgender and queer travelers and their straight friends and family. All brought to you by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

New Free Guide to Same-sex Weddings, Honeymoons and Celebration Travel by ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Ask questions. Gather information. Book travel

Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or straight, you are welcome here. Find travel information tailored for you and those you love.

FACEBOOK LIVE SATURDAY, MARCH 24 AT 2 P.M. MDT/4 P.M. EDT

If you can’t join us at the LGBTQ Travel Pavilion at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show tune into our Facebook Live Q&A Sunday, Saturday, February 24 at 2 P.M. MDT/4 EDT P.M Meet the travel experts at the booth and ask your travel questions!

FOLLOW THE RAINBOW

Find us under the rainbow in booth number 405.





Paris Update: Is the Marais Still Gay? Oui et Non … Read on!

21 03 2018
What happened to the Gay Marais in Paris?

Has the charming Gay Marais gone? If your last visit to Paris goes back to the mid-’80s or the ’90s, Is the Marais still gay? Read all about it in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinechances are you may not recognize the neighborhood. The days of first ever created gay-bars like Le-Village and L’Amnésia seem really far.

Things have changed but to understand what’s really happening now we may need to board the time-machine.

A little history

Le-Marais (marsh, swamp in English) goes back to the Middle-Age and was developed right after the Renaissance when the rich and famous started to build elegant mansions also known as “Hôtels-particuliers” to remain rather close to the king’s palace, The Louvre. When the Court moved to Versailles, the area started to lose its wealthy patrons. In the 19th century the rich inhabitants moved further West and the old Marais started to host a new population: the many Jews who had escaped cruel persecutions, frequent in the ancient Russian empire.

Gay Marais in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAfter WW2 Le Marais was sentenced to death, in other words: to be demolished. Too old and the bearer of tragic war memories. Thanks to a clever minister of cultural affairs, it survived the bulldozers but wont see its renaissance until the arrival of the gay community in the early 80s following the first solid renovations of historic mansions and inauguration of the Pompidou Center which will bring international light to the older part of the capital city. As often with the gay community, the street started to become prettier, flower pots popped-up in front of design stores and friendly cafés and restaurants.

The best years indeed!

Le-Marais was back, it was fashionable – luxury brands could not miss this opportunity and over the past 5 years we have seen high-end stores coming-in, replacing traditional and convenient businesses. L’Amnésia closed and so did many other gayGay Marais in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine “institutions” often replaced by luxury boutiques. Rue des Archives a whole series of top boutiques have been created by a single investor. The facades all look alike and are truly magnificent but the Givenchy, Prada, Moncler boutiques seem a bit lost and too often quite empty. They are not terribly inviting as a security guy stands right at the door and this is never a way to say “bienvenue!”. Cox, Open-Café, Raid, Free DJ are still here to welcome their gay patrons.

Plus ça change

Change everything so nothing changes (The Leopard, Visconti): in reality Le-Marais has never so Gay Marais in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinebeautiful and charming. All restaurants, cafés, wine-bars, bakeries, boutiques, art galleries – not to forget the legendary department BHV, totally revamped, all are truly gay-friendly and all know what they owe to the Gay Community. We only hope this mind set will remain but further closure would not help and may simply sign the end of Le Gay-Maris!

In the meantime, it’s never been a better time to visit. So don’t wait!

ParisMarais.com

One fantastic resource for the Marais is ParisMarais.com. Created by Pascal Fonquernie, the site — which is available in seven languages — is among the world’s most visited guides on le Marais, including a large gay community section. Not a gay guide, it’s the best of le Marais, including booking hotels; information about the Jewish quarter; recommended tour guides; restaurants; history; and interviews with famous people. Download a copy of the Marais map here.

Story by ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent, Jean-Pierre Soutric, Paris, 18-March 2018, 








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