The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is the world’s leading LGBT travel organization, representing more than 1,000 member companies from around the globe.
The iglta convention 2019 is the largest international LGBTQ+ travel event in the world. The event brings together over 3,000 attendees from all over the world.
IGLTA, The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association, hosted its Annual Global Convention at the Hotel Midtown in Atlanta after a year hiatus due to COVID-19.
More than 400 people from 27 nations attended the event, which included nighttime activities at some of Atlanta’s most spectacular venues, including the Georgia Aquarium, the Delta Flight Museum, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. On the second evening of the Convention, the IGLTA Foundation’s fundraiser, Voyage, collected almost $70,000, a new high.
The magnificent Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta hosted the IGLTA’s opening night celebration.
IGLTA President and CEO John Tanzella addressed the audience how much he missed seeing everyone in person and how the yearly event is “like a homosexual summer camp.” The organization, according to Tanzella, “is a huge tent of anybody who’s interested in LGBTQ marketing.”
Tanzella also said that the IGLTA has rejected boycott demands in reaction to Georgia’s recent adoption of restrictive voting legislation. He stated that the group is not political, and that Atlanta is unlike any other area of the state. He warned the audience that boycotts harm the tourist industry.
Voyage, the IGLTA Foundation’s annual fundraiser, was held at the Delta Flight Museum.
He also focuses on the following topics:
* A aim for the next year is to increase LGBTQ+ tourism in India. “We want to assist our travel advisers and tourism members in selling India correctly.”
* In 2022 and beyond, the IGLTA hopes to provide greater assistance for transgender tourists.
* This year, the organization introduced an impact award to recognize smaller businesses that are doing outstanding work. The first prize was given to OUT in Columbia.
He also urged businesses to embrace the LGBTQ community wholeheartedly and honestly.
“You can’t come around and put a Pride flag on stuff in June and then forget about us in July. “LGBT tourists are loyal—and savvy” travelers, according to Tanzella.
The IGLTA also presented many additional honors, including the Pinnacle Award to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Matt Skallerud, President of Pink Media, received the Hall of Fame award. Arne Sorenson, the former President and CEO of Marriott International, who died in February 2021 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, received the Chair’s Award. IGLTA Board Member Apoorva Gandhi, who is the Vice President, Multicultural Affairs, for Marriott International, received it on his behalf in a touching speech.
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Is travel the way of the future?
On the second day, a forward-thinking panel discussed what the future holds for LGBT tourists. Ranjan Goswami, SVP-Customer Experience, Delta Air Lines; Jody Cole, Founder, Wild Rainbow African Safaris; Rick Stiffler, SVP, Global Sales-Leisure, Preferred Hotels & Resorts; and Miguel Sanz Castedo, General Director, Turespaa were among the panelists, who were moderated by Uwern Jong, Editor in Chief, OutThere Magazine.
According to Sanz Castedo, the epidemic has given Spain’s tourist authority time to consider what they want to do next. He pointed out that a lot of marketing in the past has been overly focused on nightlife and homosexual men. They aim to offer LGBTQ travelers a unique perspective on traveling in his nation, focusing on the arts, gastronomy, and history.
The recovery has been bumpy, according to Goswami, and with the variation, Delta has seen a lot of last-minute travel.
“The Caribbean and Mexico are more important to us than they have ever been,” he added. “We’re seeing visitors return to places that make them feel comfortable and where admission is simple. We have aircraft and can send them anywhere there is a demand.”
He also said that although Iceland and Spain seem to be popular, “LGBTQ tourists are amazing and would go anywhere.”
Nearly every nation in Africa, according to Cole, is open. Before boarding your plane, most airlines demand a 48-hour PCR test. LGBTQ tourists, she believes, are seeking for more distant locations and outdoor experiences, such as safari treks and backpacking vacations. And in the next year, luxury wilderness trips will be huge.
When it opens up, Stiffler predicts that regions like Asia Pacific will be flooded with gay tourists. Throughout the epidemic, Mexico has performed well, he said. He also believes that once Canada completely opens up, it will be thrilling, and that metropolitan locations will once again be major draws for the LGBTQ community in 2022 and beyond.
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