Echelon Magazine

April/May 2011

Echelon Magazine is a Gay and Lesbian Business Publication

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explore I would say that the hottest destinations nowadays are mainly in South America. Tell us why you got involved in the travel industry. (CM) Well I have been in the Travel business already for over 20 years, but have been traveling and living all over the world since I was born. My father and my brother are both commercial pilots so I got the travel bug from the crib. I have a passion for Hotels, Restaurants and discovering new destinations to share my experiences with others. The main commitment of my company is BEEN THERE DONE THAT. You have definitely utilized social media and blogging for your business. How has that affected sales, bookings etc.? (CM) I am a Travel Agent, Travel Blogger and Tourism Marketing Consultant. That being said, I have created a synergy between all these activities where each entity is a separate source of business, and at the same time all benefit each other. I work alone assisting mainstream travel related business for the outreach to the GLBT community worldwide. This generates content for my blog and the self-promotion of those travel services I offer to my clients. So it is a WIN-WIN situation for everyone; Travel Businesses/ Services (Exposure), Customers (Information) and my company CM by Carlos Melia (Quality tested Products/Services to offer). I understand that you are now focusing more on a more mature Gay/Lesbian clientele. What are the hottest places for Gays and Lesbians and why? (CM) I am very spolied. I have been all over Europe a million times. The Americas and Oceania are welcome all type of clients, but YES, as I am growing older I am becoming more savvy and picky and getting more interested in different lines of travel services/products. I realized there is a segment of the GLBT community whose needs are not being fulfilled. The GAP over 35 years old travelers are more interested in upscale and sophisticated services and destinations worldwide, tailor-made and personalized oriented services, with multiple interests other than the gay scene or circuit events. Luxury driven clients, looking for travel experiences are focused more on art, design, culture, wine, cuisine etc. I would say that the hottest destinations nowadays are mainly in South America. There are multiple reasons for this: destination highlights, exchange rate, culture and attitude toward the GLBT community. However, I am always on the search for new destinations. Why do you think that Gay men have an appeal for places different than Lesbians? apr/may 2011 ECHELON 31 dec/jan 2010 ECHELON 29

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