The City of New York and tourism officials have announced a visitors and tourism marketing campaign to promote the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Dubbed the “Rainbow Pilgrimage,” New York City Council Speaker, openly gay Christine Quinn and officials with NYC & Company announced the marketing campaign on April 7.

The campaign will take advantage of both international and domestic advertising, including print, outdoor and online marketing. According to an April 7 press release, the pilgrimage is meant to “showcase New York City’s vibrancy while highlighting its reputation as a gay- and lesbian-friendly travel destination” and “emphasize a visit to the destination as a ‘rite of passage’ for the gay and lesbian traveler.”

The city and NYC & Company will partner with Travelocity through the marketing campaign’s website,

“New York City is the birthplace of the gay rights movement and has long attracted LGBT visitors from around the world. As we mark the 40th anniversary of Stonewall this year, there’s even more reason to come celebrate the history of the LGBT community. We’re proud to be working with NYC & Company to launch the Rainbow Pilgrimage campaign, which will help connect visitors with great events, transportation, and LGBT-friendly businesses around the city,” said Speaker Christine Quinn.

NYC & Company will launch the advertising campaign and hopes to generate more than 300 million impressions in key markets across the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada. Digital advertising will start April 13 and ask travelers to “Join the Rainbow Pilgrimage and Plan Your Journey.”

Other advertising includes outdoor ads in the U.K. and Spain and a print ad in the June/July issue of Out magazine. Overall, the campaign will cost $1.9 million.

“New York City is an iconic destination for the gay and lesbian visitor,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “We are eager to invite and welcome even more gay travelers to visit New York City in 2009 not only to celebrate the historical significance of the Stonewall Riots anniversary, but also to take in all the energy, beauty and vibrancy our great City has to offer.”

What do you think? Are you going on the “Rainbow Pilgrimage” to celebrate Stonewall’s 40th? Head to and vote in our online poll.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.