Sandals Resorts Receive 'Rock Bottom' Dishonor for 10th Consecutive Year

SAN FRANCISCO, July 29 OUT&ABOUT, the acclaimed travel newsletter for gay men and lesbians, today announced its annual Editor's Choice Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in gay travel during the past year.

Sandals Resorts Sydney received top honors as 2003's "Destination of the Year," and Equality Forum was named "Event of the Year." Sandals Resorts took the "Rock Bottom" award -- bestowed upon the travel company in greatest need of improvement with respect to gay travelers. Since 1994, the OUT&ABOUT Editor's Choice Awards have recognized outstanding achievements in gay travel, chosen on the basis of excellence, innovation and solid gay-family travel values.

Sydney recognized as "Destination of the Year"

The balmy seaside jewel "down under," Sydney has lured gay and lesbian visitors for years with a magical combination of culture, nightlife, beaches and a very warm, gay-friendly welcome.

"The city and its community organizations worked in symphony through financial difficulties to host last year's Gay Games VI -- and to reinvent the ailing Sydney Mardi Gras," said OUT&ABOUT editor-in-chief Ed Salvato. "Their commitment paid off, making Sydney the gay destination of 2003 -- and drawing hundreds of thousands of gay travelers."

Equality Forum named "Event of the Year"

It has a new name (formerly PrideFest America); well-organized, well-attended events; a gathering of important gay and lesbian leaders; and a focus on civil rights, education, youth programs and parties: The Equality Forum has truly become a global celebration of gay and lesbian culture, and a shining model for future Pride celebrations.

Sandals Resorts stuck at "Rock Bottom" for 10th consecutive year

For the 10th consecutive year, Sandals Resorts received the OUT&ABOUT "Rock Bottom" designation for its egregious homophobic policies. The company, which designs vacations for couples, holds steadfastly to its "heterosexuals only" couples policy -- continuing to believe that such a policy is something other than the most blatant form of discrimination.

"Sandals continues to be one of the most blatantly homophobic travel organizations in the world by expressly prohibiting gay couples from their resorts," said Salvato. "Friends and family members of gay and lesbian people need to be aware of Sandals' policies before they choose to spend their vacation dollars at a resort that discriminates against their loved ones."


OUT&ABOUT is the award-winning travel newsletter and online resource for gay men and lesbians. Critically acclaimed, it is the leading voice of gay travel.

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