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LGBT tourist advice for the capital
Britain’s fi rst LGBT tourist offi ce opened in Soho
in October this year. g3 talks to Project Director
Shaun Newport about this groundbreaking initiative…
German customers as well as people from across groups like London Frontrunners and loads of
the UK. “It’s really great to see a range of people LGBT friendly businesses and organisations. It’s
coming in, young and old,” he says. “I have common for people to just come and have a chat
assisted some groups of young people who had with us and hang out” says Shaun. “We provide
linked up online and come to London for a night laptops with internet and complimentary tea and
out, as well as some older chaps from Devon coffee”.
and Somerset”. He is confi dent that the offi ce’s
popularity will only increase with time: “We haven’t There are some great plans in the pipeline as the
even started mass marketing yet, but we can offi ce works to bring the best to its patrons. “We
expect a massive increase in custom when we do”. are currently negotiating some discounts for the
gay community at the top bars and clubs around
Shaun adds: “Almost 50% of the people that Soho,” explains Shaun. “We want to create some
come in here are lesbians.” Indeed, he laughs: bespoke packages for our clients with LGBT
“I have been shifting g3s like nobody’s business. friends and liaise with restaurants and bars so we
You have to send me some more!” can link up popular tourist events with special
It can be a daunting experience arriving deals in these places”.
in London with nobody to show you The offi ce is linked to a number of community
round. But don’t despair – great news has just projects, as well as being a general information We can only assume that the LGBT tourist offi ce S
arrived in the form of the fi rst tourist offi ce aimed point for those wanting to explore London’s will go from strength to strength, and we strongly
WI
specifi cally at the LGBT community. Whether nightlife and sightseeing opportunities. suggest you pay them a visit. Let’s hope, too, that
I
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you’ve just moved to London and want to meet Indeed, the centre is much more than just your the idea catches on, and we see similar offi ces
JON
new friends, or you’re a tourist looking for the average tourist offi ce – it’s a window into the springing up in other locations, providing a much- S BY
D
clubbing hotspots, the Soho-based offi ce should gay community and a place to meet friends. needed service to those who wish to fi nd out
R
defi nitely be your fi rst port of call. Shaun tells us: “We work with Stonewall, sports exactly what an area has to offer a gay newcomer. WO
73
It has been a long time coming but this promises
to be a service of immeasurable value to London’s
gay scene. Located upstairs in Ku bar in Lisle
Street, it is the brainchild of Ku Bar owner and
promoter Gary Henshaw. The offi ce provides
up-to-date information on the city’s vibrant
gay scene and a host of gay-specifi c groups and
services, alongside information on mainstream
tourist events. Project Director Shaun Newport
says: “At the moment we offer tickets to
the major gay club nights, as well as general
information like maps and city guides, but that is
just the beginning”.
The offi ce has not even been open a month but it The offi ce is located at 30 Lisle Street,
has already received around 300 visitors from all Leicester Square, WC2H.
over the world. Shaun has helped out Venezuelan, For more information visit www.gaytouristoffi ce.co.uk
Portuguese, Swedish, Israeli, American and or email info@gaytouristoffi ce.co.uk
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