LGBT travelers are a highly sought-after subgroup within the tourism industry. They are commonly known to have high disposable income, and tourism businesses have been increasingly catering to this group both for financial reasons and for their unique travel needs. However, in targeting this subset of the larger community it often seems that young gay travelers have been favored in most marketing efforts. Gay cruises flaunt photos of younger, unattainably attractive gay men in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, and gay-group tour companies often use similar strategies to attract travelers to beach destinations and circuit parties in big North American and European cities. Quite frankly, it’s no surprise because we all know sex sells. However, that approach really only shows one small segment of a much more diverse community of LGBT travelers. What about gay travelers over 40 and 50 or those that don't fit the stereotypes we see in all the ads?

We have to admit that we’re often guilty of using this same approach I’m criticizing now. We inadvertently appeal to a younger gay audience by only showing photos of young, good-looking, gay travelers (though we know all ages enjoy them!). We even get occasional emails and messages on social media from our older followers pointing out that we’re excluding them. We absolutely acknowledge our fault, and that’s why we’re happy to be collaborating with Venture Out.

Venture Out is a gay tour operator that has been providing LGBT travelers with small-group tours for the past 20 years. What makes them stand out from other providers is that their customers tend to be gay men over 50, though they occasionally have some women and younger guests since anyone is welcome. They have been able to present excellent tours for two decades to a segment that is often left out or underrepresented. Another unique aspect of their tours is that they focus on lesser-known destinations rather than the typical tourist routes. This is important considering that most of their clientele is older and has likely been to many of the typical hot spot destinations already.

For example, their tour to Italy isn’t going to take you to Florence or Venice – how boring! (just kidding, they’re incredible places, of course). Their itinerary is going to take you on “the less trodden route!” Discover the Emilia-Romagna and Veneto regions of Italy where you’ll visit beautiful cities with brick palaces, cobbled streets and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For gastronomy lovers, the city of Modena is known for its balsamic vinegar and the city of Parma for its prosciutto crudo di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Their Australia tour follows the same idea, bypassing the standard Sydney stay and opting for the culinary and cultural capital of Melbourne; Australia’s wine region of the Barossa Valley; a bit of an Outback adventure; and the incredible wildlife of Kangaroo Island. Seriously, who doesn't want to take a trip to Australia?!

If you think travel is only for the young, think again! Venture Out welcomes travelers of all ages whether you’re traveling on your own, with your partner or as a group of friends. No matter which Venture Out destination you choose, they provide upscale, nearly all-inclusive tours focusing on unique accommodations and gastronomy with the company of expert guides and a Venture Out tour manager. Check out their tours in Gay Italy, Australia, Gay Spain, Gay Japan, and Myanmar. Don’t let poor marketing choices deter your desire to venture out and discover the world. Travel is for everyone, especially you.

Note: This article was written in partnership with Venture Out, however rest assured all opinions are 100% our own and we would never sacrifice our integrity for a sponsorship.