Travel site launches LGBT guide

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Online trip planning giant Expedia has launched a new site specifically catering for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travelers.

The site, which was developed in association with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), features gay-friendly hotels in ten North American cities and five European cities.

Expedia says that it has chosen cities that provide a "broad assortment of gay-friendly hotels, events and festivals, and hotspots."

Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans and Toronto are among the North American cities, whilst Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and London make the European list.

There are around 500 LGBT-welcoming hotels on Expedia's list currently, indentified in partnership with the IGLTA and vetted by a group of "LGBT professionals" at Expedia.

The site also includes a comprehensive list of LGBT events and festivals around the world, as well as brief "what to do and see lists" for each destination.

Expedia's entry into the gay travel market signals the firm's intention to directly compete with specialized sites such as and, which are firmly established in the LGBT community.

Compared to competitors, however, Expedia has moved slowly in launching its guide - Orbitz launched its first gay travel website, a partnership with and, back in 2002.