When gay vacationers envision travel to Australia, they naturally think of Sydney. After all, it's been the people's top choice for the best international gay travel destination for many years - and not just for Mardi Gras, but all seasons and reasons.
Maybe for their second downunder visit, they think of the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands, or the tropical rainforest resorts in Cairns and other parts of Far North Queensland.
In 2010, savvy lesbian and gay travellers will visit Australia's most vibrant and most gay-friendly tourism region - The Gold Coast. It's the other end of Queensland, close to the state capital of Brisbane and a quick drive from the international airport. You no longer have to hassle with Sydney International Airport if you want to see the "other" Australia.
Two years ago Gold Coast Tourism became the first new IGLTA member from Queensland in eons, and this year five more gay-welcoming tourism operators have signed up with IGLTA's Ambassador for Australia, Mark Proffit. He says, "Several more will follow in 2010 as word spreads about the very gay Gold Coast and about the first annual Screaming Queens Day at Dreamworld."
Besides the leading theme park, Dreamworld, the other new IGLTA members are Tiger Moth Joy Rides, the highest thrill on the coast, Hard Rock Cafe in the heart of Surfers Paradise, and two accommodations, the Watermark Hotel & Spa which is just steps from Surfers Paradise beach, and Breakers North Apartments on private beachfront.
If my hunch is correct, the very large Gold Coast Region - with so much to see and do from the mountains to the hinterland to the world-famous beaches and theme parks -will be on everyone's Top Gay Travel Destinations must-visit list.
It's not just Australia's top vacation destination any more. The Gay Gold Coast is beckoning everyone.