The thriving Key West Business Guild is a key reason for that renowned reputation as a warm, accepting destination for LGBT visitors. KWBG executives report an estimated 20 percent or more of Key West’s annual visitors self-identify as LGBT.
The 500-member nonprofit business association provides comprehensive information, promotes the island to national and international travel markets and addresses specialized interests of LGBT travelers.
First launched in 1978, KWBG was created to support Key West’s gay community and promote tourism during once-sluggish summer months. Today it ranks among the nation’s top LGBT business associations with award-winning marketing and global advertising campaigns, supported by the Florida Keys tourism council.
A thriving organization for nearly 40 years, KWBG includes members that represent virtually every segment of the island’s business community – from accommodations and art galleries, banks and bars to unique restaurants and shopping venues.
KWBG’s dedicated staff is devoted to the LGBT market. Staff members sometimes serve as storyteller guides aboard the popular Gay Key West Trolley Tour, offered during special events and for private group tours around the historical 2-by-4-mile island.
The organization has cultivated thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and responds to scores of telephone calls, emails and website visits each week.
LGBT travelers are encouraged to stop by the Key West Business Guild visitor center on arrival to experience the island’s unique atmosphere of openness and acceptance. Walk-in guests receive a friendly introduction to the city and get insider’s tips and information about local attractions and businesses.
Located at 513 Truman Ave., KWBG shares space with an acclaimed museum showcasing the Key West life of Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Tennessee Williams, the island’s most celebrated gay playwright. The visitor center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Key West Business Guild information: www.gaykeywestfl.com, 305-294-4603 or 1-800-535-7797
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/gay, www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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