Tel Aviv was named the best gay city for 2011 in a contest sponsored by American Airlines and Gaycities.com.
The Israeli city, which sits on the Mediterranean Sea, garnered 43 percent of the vote to be selected as the “Best City of 2011” in the “Best of Gay Cities 2011” poll. New York City came in second place with 14 percent, and Toronto followed as third with 7 percent.
“Winning this competition constitutes an additional strengthening of the fact that Tel Aviv-Jaffa is a city that respects all people and allows everyone to live according to his/her own principles,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said. “Ours is a city in which everyone can be proud of who they are.”
Shai Doitsh, brand manager of the Tel Aviv Gay Vibe tourism campaign, told Ynet that the city’s “win is the culmination of six years of work and proof that the Tourism Ministry and the Municipality of Tel Aviv made the right decision to invest in gay tourism/" Doitsh told Ynet.
Organizers of the contest described Tel Aviv as the “gay capital of the Middle East ... exotic and welcoming with a Mediterranean c’est la vie attitude.”
New York won in the best nightlife category, San Francisco took the best Pride city award. Buffalo, N.Y., was selected as the most up-and-coming city.
Tel Aviv officials said the win will likely bring an influx of tourists.