Gay travelers find in the travel

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					                Xrtw.                                                                           S U N D A Y , J A N U A R Y 18                        1998

  Gay travelers find                                                                                                                                                                                 Critical period
                                                                                                                                                                                                    for investments
                                                                                                                                                                                                     is next 3 weeks
                                                                                                                                                                                                     T        he calendar says 1998 begins
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jan. 1. However, the New Year
                                                                                                                                                                                                              didn't really get under way

                                                                                                                                                                                                       until Tuesday evening, after the mar-'
                                                                                                                                                                                                       kets closed. Why? Because that's
                                                                                                                                                                                                       when Intel reported its quarterly
                                                                                                                                                                                                       profit for the fourth quarter and ush-
                                                                                                                                                                                                       ered in the start of a crucial earn-
                                                                                                                                                                                                       ings-release season.
  in the travel                                                                                                                                                                                        periods,
                                                                                                                                                                                                       which occur
                                                                                                                                                                                                      April, July
 The Associated Press                                                                                                                                                                                 and October,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      are always

                  merican Airlines has                                                                                                                                                                important
                  five sales representa-                                                                                                                                                              But they will
                  tives specifically mar-                                                                                                                                                             be especially
                  keting to gay travelers,                                                                                                                                                            important in
                  but the carrier won't                                                                                                                                                                1966 as Wall
    extend health benefits to gay employ-                                                                                                                                                             Street comes          Lauren Rudd
    ees' domestic partners.                                                                                                                                                                           to terms with
       St Maarten is trying to attract gay                                                                                                                                                            a slowdown in corporate-earnings
   visitors to its sandy beaches, while its                                                                                                                                                           growth.
   Caribbean neighbor, Grand Cayman,                                                                                                                                                                     Traditional thinking holds that
    refused to allow a cruise ship carry-                                                                                                                                                             lower earnings are a bad omen. Yet,
    ing gay passengers to dock for the                                                                                                                                                                if the economy remains steady,
   day.                                                                                                                                                                                               stocks are very capable of moving
       Sought after for their tourist dol-                                                                                                                                                            higher even without the stellar earn-
   lars, gay and lesbian travelers find                                                                                                                                                               ings growth of the past three years.
   that in some circles they are still                                                                                                                                                                But regardless of the earnings trend,
   shunned for their lifestyle.                                                                                                                                                                       keep in mind that Wall Street's reac-
       For instance, Sandals, which runs                                                                                                                                                              tion to a surprise earnings
   10 couples-only resorts in Jamaica                                                                                                                                                                 announcement is quite predictable.
   and other Caribbean islands, only                                                                                                                                                                  A positive surprise usually trans-
   allows heterosexual couples as a                                                                                                                                                                   lates to a higher stock price, while a
   matter of policy.                                                                                                                                                                                  negative surprise means the stock
       "I constantly remind myself where                                                                                                                                                              will most assuredly become a blue
   we've come and how fast weVe come                                                                                                                                                                  light special.
   as a community," said John                                                                                                                                                                             Which brings us to the question of
   d'Alessandro, president of the                                                                                                                                                                     how are things going to turn out this
   International Gay and Lesbian                                                                                                                                                                      reporting season? If Intel is any
   Travel Association. "We are no                                                                                                                                                                     gauge, the future looks somewhat
   longer illegal. The. question of us                                                                                                                                                                better than many had feared but not
   being 'sick* has gone away complete-                                                                                                                                                               as good as some had hoped for.
  ly. But the fact is people grew up in                                                                                                                                                                   In announcing its earnings for the
   an environment where we're not an                                                                                                                                                                  fourth quarter, Intel reported dilut-
   accepted crowd. Today we are, but                                                                                                                                                                  ed net income of 98 cents a share,
   its going to take people some time."                                                                                                                                                               down from $1.08 a share, but above
       The Cayman Islands this month                                                                                                                                                                  Wall Street expectations of 90 cents
   refused to allow a cruise ship char-                                                                                                                                                                a share. Revenue rose to a record
  tered for about 850 gay men to make                                                                                                                                                                 $8.5 billion from $6.4 billion.
   a one-day stop in port, saying "care-                                                                                                                                                                  The Santa Clara, Calif-based com-
   ful research and prior experience                                                                                                                                                                   pany also warned that its first quar-
   has led us to conclude fhat we cannot                                                                                                                                                              ter revenues would be flat when
   count on the group to uphold the                                                                                                                                                                   compared to the fourth quarter. But
. standards of appropriate behavior."                                                                                                                                                                 what hit Wall Street the hardest was
      In contrast, the island of St.                                                                                                                                                                  that the semiconductor giant unex-
   Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles                                                                                                                                                                pectedly forecast that its overall
  welcomes gay travelers and will be                                                                                                                                                                  gross profit margin would be about
  advertising this year in Out maga-                                                                                                                                                                  55 percent of total revenues in 1996,
  zine.                                       ,D«vU Alport, publisher of the gay travel newsletter "Out and About," says major tourism organizations and countries have come to realize In recent     "plus or minus a few points." It was
      "We're looking at various niche          ywr» th« dollar value of the gay market.                                                                                                               59 percent for the fourth quarter.
  markets and one of those niche mar-                                                                                                                                                                    Nonetheless, Intel holds about 90
  kets would be the homosexual mar-
  ket," said Regina LaBega, director of        Gay-friendly airlines                                                                   More big advertisers                                           percent of the microprocessor mar-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      ket for personal computers and is
  marketing for St. Maarten. "They do          Out & About, a newsletter for gay and lesbian travelers, recently rated                                                                                expanding rapidly into the worksta-
  have the discretionary income, and
  they spend, and we havent had any
                                               airlines on their gay-friendliness. Only the foreign-based British Airways
                                               and Virgin Atlantic scored an 'A,' even though they don't offer health and
                                                                                                                                       seek thriving audience                                         tion and server computer markets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      With some 1,000 chip designers
  problems with homosexuals—or any
  other group — coming to the island."
      The 1GLTA estimates that gay and
                                               insurance benefits to gay employees.                     .                              in the gay press                                               working on multiple design efforts,
                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Intel is likely to continue to outpace
                                                                                                                                                                                                    ' its competition.
  lesbians account for nearly 10 per-
                                               Alaska Airlines                 Continental              TWA
                                                                                                                                       By Eric & Quinonfts                                               Yet, at this time last year many
  cent of the $200 billion that                                                                         El                             The Associated Press                                           were losing faith in Intel. The com-
  Americans spend annually on busi-                                                                                                                                                                   pany was facing its most serious
  ness and leisure travel.                     America West Airlines           Delta                     United                           NEW YORK — The gay press was founded to give                competition in years as Advanced
      With that sort of spending power,                                                                                                voice to an isolated community. Nearly 30 years later,         Micro Devices increased both its
  the travel industry has increasingly                                                                                                Corporate America is increasingly wooing that commu-            chip-design ability and its factory
  put out the welcome mat for homo-                                                                                                    nity and its buying power.                                     capacity in an attempt to go head-to-
  sexual travelers. .One result is that        American Airlines               Northwest                 US Airways                      Advertising in gay publications is soaring with an           head with Intel's speediest chips.
  the IGLTA, founded in 1983 with 25                                                                                                  increasing number of huge companies pitching cars,              However, manufacturing problems
  tour operators and travel agent mem-                                                                                                travel, computers, investments, drugs, clothings and           curtailed production of AMD's K6
  bers, reached about 600 members by                                                                                                  more. New advertisers in 1997 included IBM, United              microprocessor. Those problems
  1902 and today boasts nearly 1,400           British Airways                 Souththwest              Virgin Atlantic               Airlines and American Express.                                 still plague the company today and
  members, including the Avis and                                                                                                         "In spite of the fact that a larger number (of gay pub-    will continue to do so for the fore-
  National car rental chains, the                                                                                                     lications) are free, we have a viable audience and they        seeable future.
  Philadelphia        Convention      and      Criteria considered includes transferability of frequent flyer awards,                 are brand loyal," said Bob Craig, publisher of Frontiers,          AMD is beginning to sound like a
  Visitor's Bureau, the Australia              same-sex spousal benefits, airline support fn the community, inclusion                 a biweekly gay newsmagazine that has served Los                broken record and Wall Street is
  tourism council, and most of the             of sexual orientation in a nondiscrimination policy, and training programs             Angeles since 1982 and expanded to San Francisco in            becoming weary of the tune. The
  major U.S. airlines, with the excep-         covering sexual orientation and AIDS.                                                  1994.                                                          inability of AMD to properly execute
 tion of Delta and TWA.                       Source: Out and About                                               AP/Amy Kraru
                                                                                                                                          Readers of gay newspapers in 10 major markets have         its business plan, within what is now
      "In the last five years, major                                                                                                  an average individual income of $47,090, according to          a diminishing window of opportuni-
 tourism organizations and countries                                                                                                  Simmons Market Research Bureau. That figure is more            ty, could prove fatal.
 have come to realize the dollar value           Five years ago, none of the airlines    my. The gay-friendly marketing cam-          than twice the U.S. per capita income of $18,135 based on          So where does Intel's stock go
 of the gay market," said David Alport,       allowed a gay person to sign up their      paign and the lack of domestic bene-         Census Bureau figures.                                         from here? Let's assume that earn-
  publisher of the gay travel newsletter      partner for a lounge club program or       fits are "two entirely different                 Simmons also found that 94 percent of the more than        ings stay flat for all of 1998 at $.98
 Out & About 'There's no question             transfer a frequent flier award to a       issues," she said.                           735.000 readers studied are likely to buy a product or         per quarter, or $3.92 for the year.
 that tourism is an economically dri-         significant other.                            The lawsuit is "a broader issue of        service advertised in a gay publication.                       With a P/E ratio of 20 the stock
 ven segment of the business world."             Many of the airlines have since         what a city can tell an airline to do in         "In choosing somewhere, I'll go to a store that I know     should be trading at about $78.
      But even while courting the niche       changed those policies.                    terms of how it operates," Redar said.       advertises in the paper," said Dallas resident Dennis          Given that Intel probably deserves a
 market, some companies still wrestle            "American may not offer every sort         As for why American — and the                                                                            higher P/E, having traded at a P/E of
 with their own issues involving gay          of benefit for its gay employees, but      other U.S. carriers — don't follow                                        See ADVERTISERS, Page 6E          30 yi the past, it would appear that
 employees.                                   they are doing so much more than the       some major companies like                                                                                   most of the downside risk has been
      American Airlines added five            vast majority of companies out
                                              there," Alport said. "Sometimes, rec-
                                                                                         American Express Co and the Walt
                                                                                         Disney Co. in offering domestic part
                                                                                                                                      Ads add up                                                     wrung out of the stock.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Will earnings remain flat during
 employees to its 100-person market-
 ing department to focus solely on the        ognizing the value of your employees       ner benefit*, Rader said it has been         The most widely advertised products and services in             1998? I doubt it. Intel is gearing up
 gay community. The airline is an             is the last step a company will take."     proposed by the airlines gay and les         gay publications, based on percentage of ad space as           to launch as many as 20 micro
 active member of the IGLTA, has                 Out & About, which has 10,000 sub-      bian employees' group and was                calculated by the Mulryan/Nash advertising firm:               processors in 1998, compared with
 added sexual orientation to its              scribers, recently rated several air-      "being studied"                                                                                              13 in 1997. The Pentium II micro
                                              lines on their gay-friendliness. Only         There is no doubt that companies          •   Bars and clubs, 19.9 percent                               processor will spread from the high
 nondiscrimination policy, allows
                                              the foreign-based British Airways          that appear gay friendly set them            •   Phone services. 16.6 percent                               end to all segments of Intel's product
 group discounts for people traveling
 to gay and lesbian conventions and           and Virgin Atlantic scored an 'A,' and     selves up for criticism by conserva-         •   Classifieds. 9.1 percent                                   line Processor speeds are likely to
 donates money to organizations               even they don't offer health and           tives.                                       •   Gay events and meetings. 5.3 percent                       increase from 300 megahertz to 450
 important in the gay community.              insurance benefits to gay employees.          Southern Baptist leaders have             •   Retail products and services, 4.1 percent                  megahertz Then in 1999. Intel is
      Despite the marketing effort that          Indeed. American and United             asked the church's 15 million mem            •   Business cards, 3.9 percent                                expected to launch its new chip line
 brings in about $150 million in new          Airlines — the only U.S. airline to        bers to boycott Disney, in part              •   Restaurants, 2.7 percent                                   called Merced, which should ciis
 revenue annually, the airline still          advertise in a national gay magazine       because of the domestic benefits and         •   Medical/HIV. 2.7 percent                                   tance it from its competitors even
 doesn't extend spousal travel privi          with its "United with pride" ads —         other gay friendly policies                                                                                 further Now that I have started your
                                                                                                                                      •   Professional services (non-medical). 2.6 percent
 leges and pension programs to part           joined a lawsuit filed on behalf of 25        American gets it from both sides                                                                         train of thought, the next step is for
                                                                                                                                      •   Theater, concerts and dance. 2.5 percent                   you to do your own research and
 ners of gay employees. In fact, no           airlines last year that sought to block       "We have been criticized by some
                                                                                         family organizations for marketing to        •   Real estate, 2.3 percent                                   draw your own conclusions.
 US. based airline does.                      a San Francisco law that would force
                                              airlines that fly into the city into       gay and lesbian groups and by gay            •   Fitness, health and hygiene, 2.3 percent                   VMJ can write to financial cohimnfct
      "There's some measure of
 hypocrisy, but in reality, all progress      adopting domestic partner plans            and lesbian employees who would              •   Automotive, 2.2 percent                                    Lauran Rudd c/o tht Savannah
 is made one step at a time." Alport             American spokeswoman Andrea             clearly like this matter to move more        •   Travel/out-of-town events. 2.2 percent                     Morning Nmvt, P.O. Box 1088,
 said.                                        Rader doesn't see that as a dichoto        quickly." Rader said                         •   Movies, TV. radio, video. 2.1 percent                      Savannah, OA 31402.

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