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Gay friendly travel at Out Of Office

Out Of Office Press and Media

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Out Of Office is the first company of its kind, dedicated to providing experiential travel worldwide all of which is gay friendly.

We are always looking to speak to successful bloggers and journalists about potential opportunities that arise.

If you're a journalist and looking for more information or to run a story about Out Of Office please get in touch with us on 020 7157 1571 or at press@outofoffice.com.

 

 

On Television

Managing Director Darren Burn has appeared on television to talk about the brand and as a commentator on various issues regarding travel.

On Radio

Managing Director Darren Burn appeared on BBC Radio Scotland with Kaye Adams and travel journalist Simon Calder to talk about the reason he founded OutOfOffice.com.

 

In the Press

Read more about our journey to where we are today in the articles below:

The best gay and lesbian holidays to celebrate a same sex wedding anniversary

Three years on from same-sex marriage in the UK, LGBT travel expert Darren Burn picks the best gay-friendly honeymoon destinations

We were in The Sun newspaper recently with an article about the first hosted transgender cruise.

Kellie Maloney The Sun Newspaper

OutOfOffice.com entrepreneur Darren Burn seeks rapid expansion of LGBT-friendly travel brand

LGBT-friendly luxury travel company OutofOffice.com has enjoyed month-on-month growth since launching in January. As co-founder Darren Burn – an IoD 99 member – looks towards expansion, he asks our expert panel how best to attract venture capital.

From South Africa to the Maldives: Surprising holiday destinations for LGBT travellers

A new survey showed a quarter of LGBT travellers hide their true selves on holiday. Where, aside from the obvious hotspots, can you feel safe? OutOfOffice.com spoke to the Independent to give our top destinations.

Israel Tourism Ministry say reaction to controversial Tel Aviv Pride ad was "priceless"

Speaking to LGBT travel company OutOfOffice.com, Naama Oryan-Kaplan, director of the UK and Ireland for the Israel Government Tourist Office, said: “Initially, social media was buzzing with disgust and bafflement at the teaser billboards plastered across London, and it is easy to see why; our messaging was controversial and lacked information.
“The reaction to our campaign has been priceless and something that we had hoped for”.

Out Of Office ran a travel survey to examine LGBT consumers' travel trends. The results found that 61% of LGBT travellers wouldn't travel to destinations where it was illegal to be gay.

Attitude Magazine, 7 March 2016

Gay Times Magazine, 7 March 2016

Gay Star News, 7 March 2016

TravelPulse, 7 March 2016

TTG Media, 16 March 2016

New gay travel firm increases holiday choice for LGBT travellers
by Will Coldwell

It was personal experience that drove Darren Burn to launch LGBT travel specialist OutOfOffice.com. “I went to Egypt with my ex-boyfriend a couple of years ago and I spent ages researching where was safe and open to go,” he says. “But when we got there the hotel was really unwelcoming – we had to find somewhere else. I realised I should be able to go anywhere in the world and have that reassurance.”

Launched at the end of last year, OutOfOffice.com is an online travel agent that hopes to set a new example for the way the industry caters for LGBT travellers. It seems to have struck a chord, turning over £1m in its first three months alone.

Burn, who quit his job as an ITV journalist in 2014 to start the company, says gay people are still frequently let down by travel agents. “Companies say they are gay friendly, but their brochures will have pages and pages of pictures and not one same-sex couple,” he says. “This can be alienating.”

LGBT travellers can struggle to be sure the holiday they are booking won’t lead to awkward, or even hostile encounters. The court battle between a gay couple and the Cornish B&B owners who turned them away is a case in point. Burn tells of a lesbian couple asking a high street travel agent for reassurance before booking and being told: “We just won’t tell them.”

“Anyone can slap on a gay-friendly sign,” he says. “The reality is different.”

OutOfOffice.com hopes to open up destinations beyond the traditional party spots in Greece and Spain, and asks every destination, partner and hotel specifically what it does to welcome LGBT people. Many of its staff are gay, and customers – who also include heterosexual travellers – have an option to enter their sexuality when making an initial inquiry. “A lot of gay people want to be able to talk to somebody who just gets it,” says Burn.

Other travel companies are also targeting the LGBT market, which, according to market researcher Forrester, is worth £6bn in the UK and $85bn in the US. Gay marriage travel has contributed significantly to this trend. This week, holiday company Kuoni announced it has recruited a 10-person team of LGBT experts to help advise on cultural attitudes in various destinations. It revealed that same-sex honeymoon bookings have increased by 279% over the past five years. Following this, pressure group Stonewall urged tour operators to take “more responsibility” for helping the LGBT community get the best out of their holidays and travel safely.

“It’s easy to assume, especially when based in a major urban centre like London, that everyone is aware of LGBT travellers,” says John Tanzella, president of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. “That is still not the case in far too many parts of the world.”

Although cultural acceptance of LGBT people has been improving in many destinations, this is by no means universal; more than 75 countries still have some form of anti-homosexuality laws. Still, even in destinations with discriminatory legislation, OutOfOffice.com are able to offer practical advice and support to travellers planning a trip there and suggest hotels and resorts where they can be confident they are welcome. In the Maldives, for example, where same-sex relationships are illegal, OutOfOffice.com has partners that will still extend their honeymoon packages to same sex couples. As Burn puts it: “Gay people are going to travel anyway: just at the back of their mind is the question of whether it will be OK.”

A flying start for LGBT travel firm hoping to revolutionise the sector
by Vicki Owen

Outofoffice, a new internet-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) luxury travel company, has turned over £250,000 since launching last month.

The company has been founded by Darren Burn, a former ITV news journalist, in partnership with Ross Marshall and Andrew Harding, the entrepreneurs behind Yourgolftravel and Spabreaks. Burn said: ‘We’re hoping to revolutionise the travel industry by reimagining holidays. We’re ensuring that itineraries are built from the ground up, with gay people in mind.’

He said the business has had lots of honeymoon bookings, adding: ‘For years I’ve seen travel websites and companies neglect the LGBT market, especially in the marketing and photos they use. One lesbian couple, for example, got told by a high street agent that they just shouldn’t tell the hotel they were a couple. Shocking.’

Outofoffice offers information about travel safety and, according to Burn, has the most up-to-date advice on laws relating to LGBT rights anywhere on the internet, providing travel advice for each country. Its holiday experiences include trips to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Travel agency for gay-friendly holidays turns over £1m in three months
by Rebecca Burn-Callander

OutOfOffice.com, a new start-up offering gay-friendly holidays, has proved a hit with travellers across the globe.

Read More at Telegraph.co.uk.

We gave GT our top tips for where to travel to in 2016.

Out Of Office in Gay Times February 2016

Read full article on Gay Star News

3 December 2015, by Jamie Tabberer

A new LGBTI-friendly travel company is being launched by former ITV News journalist Darren Burn.

The venture will be called OutOfOffice.com, and will feature bespoke gay-friendly itineraries for travelers.

The site, which will feature same-sex couples in its imagery, has been founded by Burns along with Ross Marshall and Andrew Harding, who previously launched Your Golf Travel and Spabreaks.com.

Speaking to Gay Star News, Burn explained: ‘I think there has been a reluctance of major travel brands to cater to the LGBTI market, both in their services and in their marketing. The LGBTI travel spend is estimated to be £6bn a year and it’s well documented that we take more holidays each year too.

‘It seems that a lot of companies don’t understand the nuances of traveling if you’re LGBTI – of course in some places it’s totally fine, but even then as a gay traveler I want to make sure that I’m handing over my money to the most welcoming people.’

The service will offer trips to a multitude of destinations, including Machu Picchu, South Africa, Cambodia, India, Thailand and the Galapagos Islands, only working with gay-friendly suppliers. It will also list information about global LGBTI laws.

He added: ‘We work with suppliers who have expert local knowledge and our network has years of experience of choosing the most gay friendly and trendy hotels. Travel companies have for too long shied away from integrating imagery of LGBTI couples and travelers. I can only assume they wrongly feel that this will alienate their straight customer base. Some of the most gay-friendly travel brands still don’t use even one photo of a gay couple anywhere in their marketing, which astounds me.’

Explaining how his company differs from competitors, Burn said: ‘We are re-imagining the way we build our itineraries. We build everything from the ground up with gay people in mind. So every product, service and itinerary you find on OutOfOffice.com is automatically gay-friendly. As a by-product most of them are straight-friendly too. We envisage a time when there is no need for a company like ours.

‘We’ve designed from scratch over 100 sample itineraries to 30 different countries – every single one of them can be customized and tailor-made. We’re also fully ATOL protected and my aim is to restore the reputation of gay travel which has been notoriously poorly served in the past.’ For more information about OutOfOffice.com, visit the official website by clicking here.

Darren's interview with Sky News when Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, came out featured in the iPad edition of The Times.
Out Of Office in the Times and on Sky News

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