BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Visit Baltimore, the city’s tourism arm, announced the launch of a new training program Wednesday to help hotels, attractions and restaurants in the city create a warm, accepting, and understanding environment for LGBTQ+ guests.  

The training is part of the tourism group’s Warm Welcome program, which educates hospitality industry workers about how to make different minority groups feel welcome at their venues. 

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“I think it’s very important that we are a part of this program because it brings tourists to the city,” said Chris Allen, the Director of Sales and Marketing at Canopy Hotel in Fells Point, which is a part of the program.  

The 30-minute training video, created with the Pride Center of Maryland, includes conversations with experts about cultural awareness, guest association stereotypes and the assumption of pronouns and misgendering and how businesses can become more inclusive of the community through representation, imagery, and community partnerships.  

“It’s very important, celebrating Pride month, to make sure everyone in that community feels welcome while they visit Baltimore,” said Al Hutchinson, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore.  

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Allen said LGBTQ+ guests check to see if communities and venues are accepting of them when deciding where to travel to.   

“People look for that, you know, when they’re trying to travel like, ‘Do they accept this accept this community? Do they accept us are we welcome there?’” he said. “So, I think that us as well as the city, this helps bring a lot of traffic to the city as well and it makes us look very good.”  

Learn more about the Warm Welcome program by visiting the city’s website

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Stetson Miller