Gay travel hotspots revealed

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The Independent Travel

The US has topped a poll of desirable destinations for gay travelers unveiled this week in London.

It beat runners up Australia and France to be named the top destination over the next three years, part of a study of some 30,000 LGBT people around the world conducted by LGBT marketing agency Out Now Consulting.

The study also showed that Paris was the top European city for gay travelers and New York was the most popular North American city, pushing gay hotspot San Francisco into second place.

LGBT travel is a bigger market than ever before, but the findings of the 23-country study prompted Out Now Consulting to warn travelers that "gay friendly" destinations may be falling well short of the mark.

In reality, the firm said, many destinations offer a less than welcoming customer experience.

"These days, suddenly everyone wants to be 'gay friendly' and frankly, that has made today's LGBT consumers extremely wary of the bonafides of the welcome being extended," said Out Now Consulting founder and CEO Ian Johnson.

"The phrase 'gay friendly' is pretty hackneyed and does absolutely nothing to rescue a holiday that can be ruined when a stay feels far less than welcoming for a lesbian couple because of their experience at check-in or for two gay men when ordering room service to the honeymoon suite... Improvements need to be made."

In a separate awards ceremony also presented at London's World Travel Market, Madrid Pride was voted the Best Annual Gay Destination (Party or Event).

New York City was voted the premier LGBT travel destination and "The Abbey" in Los Angeles was voted the best Gay Bar in the World by users of