New LGBT Travel Site Launched in Philly is based in Philly and wants to offer discounted deals for the LGBT community may be all about globetrotting, but the company got its start right here in Philly. The new LGBT travel site may have only launched this month, but it already offers discounted deals on vacation packages around the world, including recent finds to warm weather destinations like Mexico and Florida for the winter.

Brian Goldthorpe, one of the founders of, says that unlike a lot of other travel sites, the site is designed specifically for LGBT travelers. “There’s a difference,” he says. “We look at acceptance and safety.” And up until the launch, he and the other partners have been researching destinations all over the world to determine what’s safe, appealing and financially beneficial for LGBT travelers today.

Brian Goldthorpe (left) at this year's Midtown Village Festival (courtesy of

“Mainstream companies have marketed to the LGBT community,” admits Goldthorpe. But he says just because a company does the marketing doesn’t mean the trips are appropriate for the gay traveler. Typically, the sites have been geared toward financially secure gay men between 30 and 50, he says. But also considers lesbians, individuals and couples with families (or not) of all ages. He says the site will also be launching several “regional” packages. Hello, Atlantic City!

That doesn’t mean doesn’t have plenty of competition from Orbitz and other sites that have created campaigns for LGBT travelers in recent years. And unlike, many of these national and international sites also include transportation so users don’t need to book additional flights, car rentals or train travel.

Goldthorpe predicts that for Philly users, locales within driving distance will become especially popular for anyone on a budget. The company also expects to offer highly customized opportunities within Philly – like private walking tours and other LGBT-friendly special events.

In order for a package deal to be listed on the new website, Goldthorpe says there is a vetting process used to evaluate partners, like whether the staff at a hotel is trained to serve gay and lesbian travelers, and how gay friendly a destination is – both within the community (are there hate crimes?) and in resorts (would a same-sex couple get funny looks for requesting a shared bed?).

One of the perks is when a customer pays for a vacation package, he or she receives a voucher that allows them to make arrangements immediately or in the next few months. So if you see a steal to Cancun today, you can always use it over the holidays. And if you share the site with friends and family and someone books a trip, users automatically receive a travel voucher for $25.

Do you use LGBT-exclusive travel sites to book vacations?