New York City officials are attempting to reduce a four billion dollar budget deficit caused by the global economic meltdown by marketing a tourist campaign aimed at the gay community.
The Rainbow Pilgrimage campaign seeks to portray travel to New York as a ‘rite of passage’ for the gay and lesbian traveller.
This is because the campaign is set to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the June 1969 Stonewall riots, in which protesters clashed with the authorities after a violent police raid on a Greenwich Village gay bar. The riots are considered to be the start of the modern gay liberation movement.
Around 47 million people visited the city last year, generating about thirty billion dollars in revenue. Gays and lesbians accounted for about 10 percent of that figure.
“I would not be happy if our history were sanitised, but as long as it’s honestly presented, I like the idea of gay liberation history being incorporated into what is celebrated about New York City,” Richard Burns, a former executive director of the LGBT Community Centre in New York City told the New York Times.
The campaign has been described as the “first-ever integrated marketing and communications campaign to promote gay travel to New York City.”
It will include advertising on local and international websites and in magazines, as well as on bus stop shelters, utility poles, street furniture, telephone kiosks and railroad stations.