15

Feb. 2010

HotelTravel.com Comes Out with Great Gaycation Hotel Deals for Sydney Gay Mardi Gras

Gareth LewisBack to press release

PHUKET, 15 February, 2010 – HotelTravel.com is promoting gay friendly hotel deals for this year’s Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, running from  19 February  to 6 March, offering great deals on accommodation in one of the world’s top gay travel destinations.

According to HotelTravel.com Chief Marketing Officer, Tom Racette, the global travel industry has made huge strides in learning how to properly cater to the needs of gay travellers.

“In this day and age most major hotel chains have very gay friendly policies. They understand the spending power of the gay community; that gay travel has emerged as one of the world’s most lucrative travel sector and was worth in excess of US$7.6 billion in 2007 from the UK market alone.

“Plus it is hard to envisage any city more gay friendly than Sydney. The town wears its queer heart on its sleeve even when not hosting one of the greatest events celebrating the vibrancy of gay and lesbian culture,” he added.

Accor Hospitality manages the largest hotel network in Australia, and is also a leader in catering to the specific needs of gay travellers. Its extensive network of hotels in Sydney is diverse enough to get visitors close to the main events and cater to all pockets.

For Darling Harbour hotels log on to HotelTravel.com and check out Grand Mercure Apartments One Darling Harbour (from US$ 275 per night), Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour (from US$ 206 per night), Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour Sydney (from US$ 161 per night), Ibis Sydney Darling Harbour (from US$ 151 per night) or the independently owned Vulcan Hotel (from US$ 190 per night).

For Central hotels consider Mercure Hotel Sydney (from US$ 137 per night), Ibis World Square (from US$ 113 per night) or the Aarons Hotel (from US$ 99 per night).***

The 2010 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival, now in its 32nd year has been expanded into a two week extravaganza with an emphasis on the arts, music and theatre.

First of all, seeing a performance or show in the Sydney Opera House is a must for any complete Gaycation to Australia. It has an incredible history, and the building itself is totally beautiful and inspirational. Fortunately the action packed 2010 event calendar features several‘A’ list celebrities performing there.

The timeless Burt Bacharach plays his magical brand of music with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 4 to 6 March at the Opera House starting from 8 pm each evening. Pop princess Whitney Houston also performs during the festival on 24 February at the Acer Arena, Sydney Olympic Park starting from 6:30pm.

The Marti Gras Film Festival runs from now till 6 March. The marquee attraction is English theatre and film star, John Hurt, who plays gay icon Quentin Crisp in the movie The Naked Civil Servant.

Other not to be missed events includes the popular ‘Fair Day’ held on 21 February in Victoria Park starting from 10 am. This year’s festival parade will be held on 27 February also starting from 10 am. For a full list of calendar of events log on and check out the official Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Mardi Gras website.

Besides being big business the festival, particularly the parade, is also a hoot. It lives up and in many ways exceeds any advanced billing; it is indeed a zany, fun-filled, romp of a time, with occasional eye-candy and some sensational costumes and floats. What strikes most visitors, besides the brightly coloured participants, is the diversity of the crowd.

Sydney residents, especially straight ones, turn out in huge numbers to take in the spectacle and support the event. Visitors are often taken aback by the number of young families with children in strollers who make a day of it to view the proceedings.

And don’t forget to fill out your itinerary by taking in the sites around the city or making short day trips out of town to surrounding areas. The botanical gardens are stunning and certainly worth a visit. For visitors who love the great outdoors and picturesque vistas, then an excursion to the Blue Mountains is a no-brainer. There it is easy to get lost in eucalyptus trees amid canyons and mountains.

Plus, on the way there it is easy to stop off at the Featherdale Wildlife Park.  There visitors can see koala bears, kangaroos, dingos, Tasmanian devils and more – plus it is also possible to touch and interact with some of the animals.

Lastly, every great Gaycation needs a bit of beach, blanket bingo. Bondi Beach, Tamarama Beach (AKA ‘Glamourama’) and Manly Beach all attract a large gay following and are especially popular on the Monday following the parade. On sunny, non-windy days, grab a suit and towel and head to the beach. This is the place to see and be seen for all Gaycationers who are working on their tan.

So if any traveller, regardless if straight or gay, hasn’t visited Sydney or the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival they could be missing out. Sydney isn't perfect but the more one travels around the world one has to admire how well-adjusted the city really is.

*** All hotel rates are as of 15 February, 2010 priced in US$ and subject to change.


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