When Florida legalized same-sex marriage this year, tourism boosters from across the state were quick to jump on a new wedding and honeymoon market.
But Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, Pinellas County's tourism agency, went the other way. Instead of coming up with marketing campaigns singling out the LGBT community, the agency made a strategic decision last fall to incorporate same-sex couples into its general consumer brand, executive director David Downing said.
"We don't want this community to come here only for weddings or honeymoons, we want them to vacation here all the time," Downing said.
Last winter, buses and subway cars in Chicago and New York were wrapped with ads showing sunny skies and white sand beaches with gay couples and straight couples. There was nothing to differentiate one kind of couple from another, he said.
Visit Tampa Bay, Hillsborough's tourism agency, was among the first to release a glossy new "To Have and To Hold" advertisement campaign geared toward the LGBT community in January, when the state's ban on same-sex nuptials ended.
"Tampa Bay has a long history of tolerance toward the LGBT community. The City of Tampa was the first place on the Gulf Coast to offer domestic partner status to same-sex couples and other cities in the region quickly followed," said Kevin Wiatrowski, spokesman for Visit Tampa Bay.
Contact Justine Griffin at email@example.com. Follow @SunBizGriffin on Twitter.