Top US LGBT publication samples the best Cork has to offer

Cork is targeting the multi-billion-dollar US LGBT travel market by promoting itself as one of Europe’s most inclusive destinations.

Journalists from The Advocate and Out Traveler, the biggest and among the most influential gay publications in the US — part of a stable which boasts almost 8m unique online monthly visitors and almost 3m print readers — sampled the city’s offering over the weekend, along with journalists from the UK’s Diva Magazine.

Savas Abadsidis, a senior editor with The Advocate and Out Traveler, said it was his first time in Ireland, and he would be recommending the city to his readers.

“The people and the food have been fantastic,” he said.

“Our focus used to be on the gay circuit travel but now our focus is on gay family travel, particularly lesbian couples. They are looking for places of safety, places of tolerance and hospitality, an area of the world where they will be accepted. And Cork has been welcoming and safe.”

The trip was organised and led by Ursula Morrish from Visit Cork, a city and county council initiative, in association with the local LGBT organisations. It follows a visit in March by Swiss gay publication, Display Magazine.

The visit pitched Cork as ideally located between the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, and included stops at the English Market, Victorian Quarter, Nano Nagle Place, and the Quay Co-Op, which was established in 1982 as a radical and alternative community project by a collective of gay, feminist, lesbian, environmental, and other groups.

The group visited the Crawford Art Gallery, the Jameson Experience in Midleton, Garnish Island, Fota Wildlife Park, Kinsale, Sovereign Sailing in Kinsale, the Titanic Experience, and Blarney.

The delegation, which stayed at the Montenotte Hotel, dined in restaurants including Jacobs on the Mall, Rachels, Jacques, Hayfield Manor, the Ivory Tower, and Eccles Hotel. They also sampled the city’s nightlife at Reardens, Chambers, and attended the Linc (Lesbians in Cork) Summer Party.

They also met the first openly gay Fine Gael TD, senator Jerry Buttimer and his husband, Conchobar.

Former Mr Gay Ireland Konrad Im, who joined the media group over the weekend, said he was proud to show off his city. “These press visits are a great way to show off this impressive history and show to the rest of the world how inclusive and diverse we are,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cork City Council’s social inclusion group is seeking Rainbow City status for the city this summer as an LGBT friendly city.

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