Over the weekend Expedia.com launched its new LGBT store, a search engine geared towards LGBT travelers worldwide, the New York Times is reporting.
In association with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), visitors to the site can now search under Hotel Preferences for "LGBT-welcoming" hotels. Currently, there are about 500 hotels that meet this requirement.
The site features domestic and international destinations and highlights an assortment of gay-friendly hotels, events and nightclubs, in over 15 major cities including, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, Puerto Vallarta, Toronto, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and London. There is even one listing in Abu Dhabi.
Tim MacDonald, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Expedia.com said in a statement, "This page will simplify and improve the shopping and booking experience for LGBT customers. It was based on research illustrating the difficulty in finding LGBT-welcoming hotels, and our solution was vetted by a group of LGBT professionals at Expedia and a roundtable of gay travel community members. IGLTA helped us determine the hotels that populate the store."
However, Expedia was beat to the punch. Realizing the lucrative potential to courting the LGBT community, Orbitz.com has had a page devoted to LGBT travelers since its inception in 2001.