The thriving Key West Business Guild is a key reason for that renowned reputation as a warm, accepting destination for LGBTQ visitors. Guild executives report an estimated 20 percent or more of Key West’s annual visitors self-identify as LGBTQ.
The 500-member nonprofit business association provides comprehensive information, promotes the island to national and international travel markets and addresses specialized interests of LGBTQ travelers.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, the Guild includes members that represent nearly every segment of the island’s business community – from accommodations and art galleries, banks and bars to unique restaurants and shopping venues.
First launched in 1978, the Guild 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 LGBTQ business associations with award-winning marketing and global advertising campaigns, supported by the Florida Keys tourism council.
The Guild’s dedicated staff is devoted to the LGBTQ 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.
LGBTQ travelers are encouraged to stop by the Guild visitor center on arrival to experience the island’s unique atmosphere of openness and acceptance. Walk-in guests at the center, at 808 Duval St., receive a friendly introduction to the city and get insider’s tips and information about local attractions and businesses.
Key West Business Guild information: gaykeywestfl.com or call 800-535-7797 / 305-294-4603
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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