The Top 50 Trending Destinations for Celebrating Pride 2018


Every year, people from all over the world come together to celebrate LGBT Pride. Since the first Pride parade, that took place in New York City in 1970, a variety of destinations around the globe have begun hosting their own annual celebrations. The world has seen a shift: Not only are the biggest cities in vogue, but many emerging cities and their more recently established Pride celebrations are trending right now.


"Pride celebrations contribute to greater awareness and understanding of LGBTQ people within their communities and also allow LGBTQ travelers to connect with locals in a positive way." - John Tanzella, President & CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association


HomeToGo has created a special guide to the top 50 rising stars in which to celebrate Pride this year. After reviewing hundreds of locations around the world, we created a final shortlist by researching five categories: The annual growth rate of the Pride festival, the number of LGBT events, the quality of local LGBT nightlife, and the availability of affordable LGBT-friendly accommodation. We also connected with leading LGBT industry bodies, influencers, journalists, and entrepreneurs to learn more about their favorite trending Prides, and why celebrating in these destinations is important. For more information about our research processes, find a full methodology at the bottom of the page. We're excited to introduce the top 50!

50 Rising Stars for Celebrating Pride 2018

View of a wooden hut painted in rainbow colors standing on a beach.

Mapped: The Top 50 Trending Pride Destinations

Where Should You Travel for Pride this Year? 


With so many unique and trending Pride celebrations, how do you choose which to travel to? To help learn more about the top 50 rising star Pride destinations on our list, we spoke to leading LGBT influencers, journalists, and entrepreneurs to learn more about their experiences at Pride festivals around the world, and why traveling for Pride is so important. 


Adam Groffman - Founder, TravelsOfAdam.com

Travels of Adam is consistently ranked among the top 40 travel blogs by numerous online sources and is a featured source of information on the travel industry and LGBT travel.

Which Pride Celebration stands out to you, and why?

Puerto Vallarta was surprisingly cool! I hope to publish a story about it soon so keep an eye out! I loved the different events they had at Puerta Vallarta Pride, including a drag relay race and a sunset march.

What’s the furthest you’ve traveled for Pride?

Tel Aviv, Israel. {It was} especially fun because it was on the beach and the whole city just comes alive.

Why do you think it’s important to attend trending Pride celebrations?

Gay pride festivals are a reminder of what’s been done, and a push to keep working toward full equality. There are still so many rights unavailable to LGBTQ people around the world—even in the most progressive countries.

Heather Cassell - Publisher and Editor, Girls That Roam

Heather Cassell is the publisher and editor of Girls That Roam and a contributing travel writer to the Bay Area Reporter and other publications.

Which Pride Celebration stands out to you, and why?

Atlanta! It isn't called Hotlanta for nothing. The city's Pride celebration is so hot there are two: Black Pride during Labor Day Weekend, and Atlanta Pride in October. Atlanta Pride is the largest in the Southeast and isn't the only gay celebration throughout the month of October which also has a film festival, AIDS Walk, and other events. Southerners know how to get down and Atlanta knows how to get its Pride on.

What’s the furthest you’ve traveled for Pride?

Sydney and Tel Aviv tie for this prize. Both flights are 14 or more hours nonstop from San Francisco.

Matt Skallerud - President, Pink Banana Media

Matt is the former Board Chairman of the IGLTA and has served on the boards of Travel Gay Canada and The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. In 1995, he founded GayWired.com, which later became one of the top 3 LGBT websites in the world. Today, Matt is the President of Pink Banana Media, and is actively involved with national LGBT organizations including the NGLCC and Lambda Legal.

Which Pride Celebration stands out to you, and why?

Washington D.C. Pride. {...} I think because of the Equality March last year, and the political climate in general, this pride has grown into one of the larger ones I’ve seen. 

What’s the furthest you’ve traveled for Pride?

The Chill Out Festival in Daylesford, Australia.

Why do you think it’s important to attend trending Pride celebrations?

It helps to show folks, especially in more rural areas, that they are truly connected to their greater LGBTQ+ friends & family worldwide.

Marcie Bianco, PhD, Writer and editor

Marcie Bianco, PhD, is a writer and editor living in California. Her writing can be found online at NBC, Pacific Standard, Quartz, Rolling Stone, Salon, Vox, and Vanity Fair, among other outlets. She writes, lectures, and makes media appearances about ethics - from feminism to race relations.

Which Pride Celebration stands out to you, and why?

For queer women and lesbians in particular, there is nothing like Philadelphia Pride. Why? Unlike every other city I can think of, lesbians and queer women inhabit the center of the city — Center City is not only the Gayborhood but a gayborhood for women, consisting of shops and markets and restaurants run by women, and lived in by women. {...} Philadelphia Pride, too, is superb because it truly represents a rainbow of our community—just based on city demographics alone. {...} Philly Pride is full of love and possess a community spirit.

What’s the furthest you’ve traveled for Pride:

Sydney. One of the most gorgeous, vast cities I've ever seen. Thousands upon thousands of LGBT people descend on Sydney during the month of Pride. I have never been to a Pride March as crazy—with an unleashed spirit—as Sydney's.

Bryan Van Gorder - Travel Editor Logo/MTV Networks

Bryan is an experienced travel editor who has served as the Travel Editor for OutTraveler and is currently the travel editor of Logo TV. Bryan is also a regular contributor to The Advocate, OutTraveler, Out, Palm Springs Desert Outlook, and more.

Which Pride Celebration stands out to you, and why?

I attended Denver Pride last year and was quite surprised by the turnout which, I think, was due partly to the fact that a lot of local straight allies came with their friends, or their kids to celebrate too.

What’s the furthest you’ve traveled for Pride?

Buenos Aires. The Argentine capital’s Marcha del Orgullo is quite big, as you might expect in a city of 15.6 million people, and feels much more political in nature than Prides in the U.S. In fact, a lot of the events are centered in or near Plaza Congreso, the park facing Argentina’s Congress.

Why do you think it’s important to attend trending Pride celebrations?

In many ways, Pride celebrations in smaller communities are the most important. These are often places where the LGBT community lacks visibility or is marginalized. Pride is about reminding people that there are queer men and women everywhere.

David Brown and Auston Matta - Founders of TwoBadTourists and 2BT Travel

Bloggers & experts in LGBT travel for more than 7 years.

Which Pride Celebration stands out to you, and why?

Reykjavik Pride is an amazing experience and is unique among LGBT celebrations. {...} More than 100,000 people attend the event and with a population of just over 300,000, that makes up one third of the entire country attending. No other destination has this type of engagement as a percentage of their population.

What’s the furthest you’ve traveled for Pride?

Given that Iceland sits just 25 miles south of the Arctic Circle and the island is completely isolated in the Atlantic Ocean, it's probably the farthest we've ever traveled to attend a pride event!

Why do you think it’s important to attend trending Pride celebrations?

Pride celebrations continue to be important on both a global and local scale because there are still so many destinations which don't offer LGBT safety and equality. Small pride celebrations are also very important because smaller communities often have less LGBT visibility and acceptance, and it's important for these communities to see their local LGBT citizens publicly sharing their pride and fighting for equality.

The Top 3 Pride Destinations for 2018 

View of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
View of the bay in Sydney
View of the beach in Miami


How We Produced This Guide

 

We examined hundreds of locations around the world that host annual Pride festivals. We created a shortlist of trending LGBT-friendly destinations based on five factors: The year-on-year growth rate of the city’s Pride festivities, the number of LGBT events, the quality of LGBT nightlife, the LGBT-friendliness of locals, and the availability of affordable LGBT-friendly accommodation. After obtaining the raw data, we assigned each data point a representative numerical value between 5 and 10, with 5 representing the lowest data point and 10 representing the highest data point. We used the following equation in order to calculate this for every factor:

 

Score(i) = 5 . ( ( (x(i) - x(min) ) / ( (x(max) - x(min) ) ) + 5 


How Each Factor Was Calculated


Pride Growth Score: We calculated the Pride Growth Score by analyzing HomeToGo’s own accommodation search data and occupancy rates for each of the cities during the week of their respective Pride celebration. We compared this year’s search volume and occupancy rates to last year’s data, allowing us to determine the growth rate of the Pride festivities on a year-on-year basis, based on interest and bookings from travelers during that time period. The city with the largest year-on-year increase, in search volume and occupancy during Pride, was awarded a maximum score of 10, and every other city was awarded a score based on the equation above.

LGBT Events Score: We researched the number of the events aimed at the LGBT community in each of the 50 cities using online listing tools like: International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), Meetup, and GayCities. The city with the highest number of events was awarded a maximum score of 10, and every other city was awarded a score based on the equation above.

LGBT Nightlife Score: We used online mapping tools, events listings websites, and city guides to identify LGBT-friendly bars, clubs, and parties in each of the 50 cities. The city with the highest number of LGBT-friendly bars, clubs, and parties was awarded a maximum score of 10, and every other city was awarded a score based on the equation above.

LGBT-Friendly Score: We incorporated a survey conducted by Gallup in 123 countries in order to determine their LGBT-friendliness. Gallup asked participants: “Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for gay and lesbian people?” This category is done on a countrywide basis and is not city-specific. The country with the highest percentage of participants answering yes was awarded a maximum score of 10, and every other city was awarded a score based on the equation above. You can view the survey here: http://news.gallup.com/poll/175520/nearly-worldwide-areas-good-gays.aspx

Accommodation Score: We consulted a global collection of LGBT-friendly hotels approved by the IGLTA to look at the number of LGBT friendly hotels in each of the 50 cities. The city with the highest number of LGBT-friendly hotels was awarded a maximum score of 10, and every other city was awarded a score based on the equation above. In addition, using HomeToGo’s own meta-search data, we researched the affordability of accommodation in each of the 50 cities during their Pride festivities. The city with the most affordable accommodation was awarded a maximum score of 10, and every other city was awarded a score based on the equation above. The overall Accommodation Score is a combination of these two research points, divided by two.


*Data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. You can view it here: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/2071.0~2016~Main%20Features~Same-Sex%20Couples~85

 For additional information and interview requests, please contact press@hometogo.com. A very special thanks to John Tanzella from the IGLTA and all of our contributors.