As Miami Dade County continues to be recognized as one of the world’s premiere destinations, the Greater Miami LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce (MDGLCC) has launched the Pink Flamingo Hospitality Certification Program, reinforcing its message that Miami-Dade is a destination is a safe and welcoming place for LGBTQ+ visitors.
The Pink Flamingo Hospitality Certification Program includes training on gender identity and sexual orientation for hospitality service professionals, providing them with the tools to respond appropriately to all people, an essential element for creating an environment wherein all visitors are welcome. The initiative is sponsored by Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority, The Confidante Miami Beach and the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. Additional strategic partners include the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association and Miami-Dade County.
“The goal of this program is to let our LGBTQ+ visitors know that Miami-Dade County is a truly inclusive destination,” said Steve Adkins, president of the MDGLCC. “Despite the political rhetoric coming out of Tallahassee, our corner of the state has consistently led the way in ensuring that equality is not just a word, it is a way of life for residents and visitors alike.”
In a 12-month period, 1.65 million LGBTQ+ U.S. visitors from outside the state generated a $1.7 billion economic impact for Miami-Dade’s local economies, according to a recent study by Community Marketing & Insights (CMI)*
Conducted in the summer of 2023, CMI’s study confirmed what many in the hospitality industry are already aware of – that LGBTQ+ tourism is essential to the area’s economy. And while the majority of CMI’s respondents acknowledge that the County’s laws and policies are LGBTQ+-supportive, hoteliers know that they must not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk in order to fortify that message.
“We already have policies in place to ensure that our guests have a first-class experience,” said Amy Johnson, general manager of the Confidante Miami Beach, a Hyatt Hotel. “However, given the diversity of our community, our guests and our colleagues, we are thrilled to offer the Pink Flamingo training to our employees in English, Spanish and Creole.”
Made available under the program is a “toolkit” of products, suggestions and best practices each property can easily and cost-effectively employ. The Pink Flamingo Certification is open to members of the MDGLCC who have HR policies in place that offer equal benefits to employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Once certified, the property will be able to display the Pink Flamingo logo and will have their own directory listing on GoGayMiami.com, a website dedicated to all things LGBTQ+ in Miami-Dade County.
With input from various organizations and the MDGLCC’s Hospitality Committee co-chaired by Amy Johnson and Frank Bustamante, the 1-1/2 hour training was developed by Diego Tomasino, an executive coach specializing in business diversity and founder of CoachMap. Within the first week of launching the Pink Flamingo Initiative, 30 hotels have already signed up, and Diego is currently training others to conduct the sessions to meet the ongoing demand.
MDGLCC is the largest not-for-profit corporation in the county for LGBTQ+ businesses, with membership comprised of close to 600 companies / businesses representing more than 1,200 members.
To learn more about the Pink Flamingo Certification program, please visit www.gaybizmiami.com/pink-flamingo-hospitality-certification.