Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

IGLTA Symposium - Florianopolis, Brazil


We recently had another fantastic IGLTA Symposium in Florianopolis this past week, March 26th - 28th, 2009.  As you can see from the photos, we had a wide variety of attendees (see list below) and we were well taken care of by Clovis Casemiro and locally by Joceli and Martin Desmaras.

Florianopolis is like a mini-Rio... a local summer playground for folks coming in from Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires.  Officially, it's a
n island connected to the mainland by two bridges.  Gay life there is quite vibrant during this tourist season, with a variety of gay bars and clubs, one of the largest gay Carnival celebrations in the country, and a very cool gay beach at Praia Mole.

I arrived midweek after an incredible overnight flight on TAM Airlines from Miami through to Sao Paolo.  Their business class service was over the top and the way the shell seats reclined, I got a good night's rest on the flight down.

We began our tour on the south side of the island, hiking across a mountain trail (and yes, a big black snake did cross our path... how exciting!) and ending at a remote and beautiful beach tucked away amongst the hills.  We then took a boat to a remote restaurant in Porto do Contrato and had some fantastic seafood and oysters on the half-shell.

We continued the next day, investigating more of the island and then spending some quality time on the gay beach at Praia Mole.  I'm told that during the summer, this beach is packed... off season, it's a very pleasant spot with some hot gay men lounging in the sun and enjoying food and drink from the local beachside restaurant.

The weekend ended with a complete change of pace with a gay travel trade show and a subsequent conference about the state of the GLBT marketplace in southern Brazil as it relates to tourism.  Both the trade show and the conference were well attended, with presentations given in both Portuguese and Spanish to over 100 attendees.

It was another fantastic trip, and it has again highlighted a destination in the world that should be high on anybody's list to return to again.

Link to photos:

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