Fort Lauderdale: LGBTQIA+ Cruises Deliver Key Economic Impact

Harmony of the Seas

Greater Fort Lauderdale is preparing to set a new record in February 2023 with four sold-out LGBTQIA+ cruises bringing in more than $8 million in economic impact, according to Visit Lauderdale, the destination marketing organization.

“With demand for travel to LGBTQIA+ friendly destinations at an all-time high, our reputation for welcoming  ‘everyone under the sun’ has delivered a record-breaking booking of four consecutive LGBT+ cruises of this magnitude,” said Richard Gray, Visit Lauderdale’s senior vice president of inclusion and accessibility.

The four sold-out cruises will bring in a total of 11,500 visitors to Fort Lauderdale, according to a statement. 

In October 2022, Visit Lauderdale launched its new brand campaign titled “Everyone Under the Sun,” aimed at emphasizing Greater Fort Lauderdale’s welcoming atmosphere and its inclusive community. The ads feature locals of all ethnicities, disabilities and members of the area’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Gray worked with LGBTAIA+ cruise operators including Atlantis, VACAYA and Olivia for the past year promoting four sailings on Visit Lauderdale’s website.

The sold-out LGBTQIA+ cruises include:

  • Atlantis’ voyage on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas (February 4-12, 2023);
  • VACAYA’s cruise package on Celebrity Reflections (February 12-19, 2023) 
  • Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam two cruises (February 19-26, 2023 and February 23-March 5, 2023) 

“Beyond our appreciation for the major economic boost to our economy, we want LGBT+ travelers to know they are truly welcome in our community,” concluded Gray.


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