IGLTA Ambassadors represent our association in your local communities. They help market LGBTQ+ travel, hold
events and connect our organization with LGBTQ+ travel businesses and travelers around the world. Contact
our ambassadors for more information about IGLTA.
Interested in becoming an IGLTA Ambassador? To review the Ambassador Volunteer Agreement, click
. If you need additional information, please email email@example.com. To
apply, send a cover letter outlining your qualifications and why you would be a great Ambassador, to
CCGLAR Cámara de Comercio Gay Lésbica
Buenos Aires Argentina
Phone: +54 9 11 4381 8470
With the objectives of designing strategies together, empowering and promoting tourism to our country, supporting the development of businesses and products focused on LGBTQ+ segment, establishing and strengthening links with those companies that promote Respect for Diversity and Inclusion at the workplace, the reason we decided to create this Association.
Con el objetivo de diseñar estrategias conjuntas, potenciar y promover el turismo a nuestro país, apoyar el desarrollo de negocios y productos dirigidos al Segmento LGBTQ+ y establecer o fortalecer vínculos con aquellas empresas que promueven el Respeto a la Diversidad y la Inclusión en el ámbito laboral decidimos crear esta Asociación.
Shintaro KoizumiOut Asia TravelTokyoJapan
Shintaro Koizumi, president of Out Asia Travel – a gay and lesbian
operator offering tour packages in Asia. Shintaro has over 25 years
hotel/travel agency industry, and grounded connections in Asia,
Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore. Not only does he act
operator, he also consults several commercial company and tourism boards
while promoting the LGBTQ+ market inbound and outbound. He is a
of PRIDE events in Japan/Taiwan, and receives accolades from the local
LGBTQ+ in Asia.
Let him be the LGBTQ+ bridge between Asia and various continents, and
trips to everyone.
Email Shintaro Koizumi
ARCOTEL Hotels & Resorts
Phone: +43 676 66 10 220
Christian Beckmann, Corporate Sales Partner at ARCOTEL Hotels &
his career in hospitality at age 17 in the Hilton Düsseldorf, Germany.
position, he obtained an overview of all departments during a three-year
and decided to focus on event management as his main profession. In 2009
moved to the beautiful city of Vienna and had a successful career at the
Viennese Hilton properties but changed after 5 years, to the Corporate
Department of the Viennese Starwood cluster with Le Meridien, Hotel
Hotel Imperial. Since December 2016, Christian has been part of the
sales team at
ARCOTEL Hotels & Resorts, with great properties such as the
Kaiserwasser, which is located right next to the United Nations, ARCOTEL
with its up to 900sqm meeting space, and the ARCOTEL Donauzentrum with
concept in the middle of Vienna's biggest shopping mall.
Email Christian Beckmann
Liz DevineTotal Advantage Travel &
Phone: +1.416.240.7700 x
As Vice President of Total Advantage, Liz is responsible for company
strategies, including the development of unique travel products,
travel specialist training & systems innovation. Total Advantage
group travel & speciality tourism, and is a ticketing and hosting
independent consultants, tour operators and online travel agencies.
LGBTQ+ specialty division Rainbow High Vacations, which features
and travel promotions, is one of several niche divisions, including
Destination Weddings Honeymoons, Educational & Cultural
Corporate & Incentive travel management.
Liz promotes the growth of LGBTQ+ Tourism through direct engagement,
welcoming destinations & suppliers with community agencies and
events. This is
facilitated by a lifetime of involvement with local and international
& Pride associations,and past roles helping to build Business
Associations, PrideHouseTO, Travel Gay Canada, and WorldPride.
Iris Serbanescu Bannikin Travel &
Phone: +1 416 619 4414
As Manager of Trade Development at Bannikin Travel & Tourism, Iris
an expert in spearheading efforts to bring awareness to under-the-radar
destinations, lodges, and tour operators. She is passionate about
sought-after partnerships for her clients, and takes a consultative role
her clients see success in the North American and European outbound
strategic product development and unique positioning campaigns.
Iris is most excited about representing IGLTA in Canada and
co-Ambassador, to support the presence of LGBTQ+ niche through all
aspects of the
tourism industry. She'd like the industry to view it not just as an
a separate entity, but as a niche that's integrated into 'mainstream'
experiences. She's also striving to bring more visibility, both in
marketing and in
everyday life, to the 'L' in LGBTQ+.
Iris holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Wilfrid
University in Canada, as well as a Tourism Management Diploma from
Prior to joining Bannikin as an Account Manager in 2014, Iris enjoyed an
working at the Four Seasons Hotel in Prague, then kick-started her
career in a marketing and partnerships role at a Toronto-based Virtuoso
Julio César Calvo Cámara de
Diversa Costa Rica
San José Costa Rica
Travel consultant Julio Calvo, CEO of Gaycostarica.com, is the founder and president of the Costa Rica Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (Camara De Comercio Diversa Costa Rica), an IGLTA organizational partner. Calvo, who has been in the tourism industry for more than 15 years, is a pioneer in LGBTQ+ tourism to Costa Rica and Central America. He is currently focused on promoting Costa Rica as a friendly and safe destination for the LGBTQ+ market in the U.S., Canada and Europe. He will also help to bring more LGBTQ+-welcoming businesses throughout Central America into the IGLTA network.
El consultor de viajes Julio Calvo, jefe ejecutivo de la
Gaycostarica.com basada en San José, también es el presidente
fundador de la
Cámara de Comercio Diversa Costa Rica, una organización
Calvo, que lleva trabajando en la industria del turismo más
de 15 años,
es pionero en el turismo LGBTQ+ en Costa Rica y América
está centrado en promover Costa Rica como un destino friendly,
seguro para el mercado LGBTQ+ de Norteamérica y
“Tengo pasión por compartir la belleza de Costa Rica y la región con los viajeros LGBTQ+ y estoy deseando ayudar a las empresas en América Central a mejorar su visibilidad dentro de la red de contactos de IGLTA”.
Email Julio César Calvo
Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce (CCLGBTco)
CCLGBTco is the Official LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce from Colombia. Founded
in 2012 with
the support of the US Embassy, they provide services to LGBTQ+ owned
support their growth as well as advisory services to major coporations
which want to
approach the LGBTQ+ market within Colombia.
Betti KeeseGoBeyondGermany &
Betti Keese has been an avid international traveler since a young age,
abroad many years before calling Berlin her home. Her education includes
background in Sustainable Tourism Management, and she has worked for
operators and as an international tour guide for over 12 years. In 2012,
decided to found her own company. GoBeyond is a travel service for the
global community, offering tailor-made tours and small, selected group
next project is a lesbian travel blog. Betti also actively works
with a variety
of LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations, following her goal to promote lesbian
across the globe. She became an IGLTA Ambassador for Germany in
Email Betti Keese
Giannis Papagiannopoulos Athens Greece
Phone: +30 2130041028 Skype:
Giannis was born in Athens in 1982. Since 2003 is the publisher
Antivirus Magazine which is the leading LGBTQ+ press in Greece. In
co-founded homo evolution of which he is the managing director.
is the leading company in Greece for Gay media, events, marketing
travel projects. Also since 2003 he has participated as a
volunteer in many
NGOs for Human Rights, Health and Education with projects around
Also he is a board member of the Athens Pride organization, the
organization in Greece. He has studied nuclear and Theoretical
Astrophysics and he is currently working on his PhD on Alternative
Email Giannis Papagiannopoulos
Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir Pink
Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir is one of the newest members of our global
ambassador team. She is co-founder and owner of Pink
leading LGBTQ+ travel, event and wedding company. Birna was born and
in Reykjavik, has a bachelors degree in nursing from the
Iceland, and used to work at the National Hospital in Iceland
patients until early 2013 when she joined Pink Iceland full
Birna has worked with the LGBTQ+ community in Iceland ever
since she came
out in 2002. She was leader of the local LGBTQ+ youth group, headed
educational program for the national LGBTQ+ organisation for years,
has talked to thousands of youth about being LGBTQ+, coming out and
Birna has worked with the Reykjavík Gay Pride committee since
2004, she used
to run the only LGBTQ+ café and bar in Iceland with her girlfriend,
and is a
part time DJ.
Email Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir
Russell Lord Kenes Tours
Russell Lord, a travel consultant at Kenes Tours, is our ambassador
in Israel. A
native of Brooklyn, Russell went on a summer trip to Israel in 1981, met
partner, and never went back. He brings more than 30 years of
providing top professional services for tourists visiting Israel and the
As one of the pioneers in promoting LGBTQ+ tourism to Israel (Kenes Tours
in 1998), he has worked hard in changing that tired perception of
Israel as a
destination only for traditional pilgrims and religious institutions.
reputation (and especially the Tel Aviv vibe) as the cool and
destination is out there.
Email Russell Lord
Alessio VirgiliQuiiky.com /
Phone: +39 06.45595885Fax: +39
Email Alessio Virgili
Ylan ChremLuxury Travel ExpertsFort
Ylan Chrem, our ambassador for Latin America, has been a international
traveler and a
world expeditionary since a young age. At age 17 he decided to leave his
Peru and went to study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he
knowledge of Hebrew, Japanese and French and received a degree in
With more than 25 years in the travel industry, Ylan has worked for
airlines and tour operators around the world. He has run his own
American Travel Experts since 2002; based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
leading South American inbound tour companies. He has been involved with
almost 15 years, serving two terms on the board and more than seven
years as a
regional ambassador. His passions are traveling, cooking, classical
music, the arts
and discovering new cultures from around the world.
Email Ylan Chrem
Email Ron Kuijpers
Debbie Clarke New
Phone: NZ +64 27 397 7796 /
US +1 508 873
Debbie is the founder and director of
Awaits, New Zealand's only tour operator offering small
tours for LGBTQ+ travelers to New Zealand. New Zealand
creates tailor made trips for semi-independent
privately guides guests and small groups who prefer an
experience. Debbie started her travels in her early
values the opportunities she had backpacking through Japan,
Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Israel. Those experiences were
and have shaped who she is now. After a career in
founding New Zealand Awaits in 2015 brings Debbie back to
for travel and her native New Zealand, its spectacular
world- class food and wine, and its warm welcoming people.
its progressive laws and protections for LGBTQ+ citizens and
New Zealand is a natural choice for LGBTQ+ travellers who
memorable travel experience in a welcoming beautiful
country. New Zealand
Awaits' mission is to offer unique travel experiences that
travellers with carefully selected locals who not only value
with the LGBTQ+ community, but who also ensure high value,
authentic 'Kiwi' experiences.
Email Debbie Clarke
David RyanRhino Africa & Out2AfricaCape
An accountant by profession, David Ryan is the intrepid CEO of theRhino Africa Safaris
he founded in 2004. Born and bred in Cape Town, David is passionate
sustainable tourism and wildlife conservation. He is a longtime member
of IGLTA, and
the Ambassador for South Africa, which recently won the bid to host our
Global Convention in Cape Town.
Rhino Africa’s rapid growth was just one of the reasons David Ryan was
honored to be
a finalist in the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Awards. For him
sustainable tourism is a business imperative and a means to
beneficial change. This approach also led to him being honored with the
Pioneer Award in 2011. Rhino Africa was recently named Africa’s leading
company in the World Travel Awards.
Email David Ryan
Eloi MorteRainbow Gay
Eloi has worked within the aviation and tourism industry for over 8
lived in many places and visited even more foreign countries. These
allowed him to enrich his view of this world and its different cultures.
In 2013 he decided the time was right to act on new ideas, he did some
found out that in Spain there was not a single company specializing in
tours; this was the beginning of his passion for the LGBTQ+ Travel
Rainbow Barcelona Tours.
After that initial step in this new direction, other projects began to
Rainbow Gay Tours (offering tours
experiences in Europe)
, BCNDreams Tours (unique
experiences in Barcelona for families)
and the Snow Gay
(the biggest ski weekend in Spain).
Now, Eloi is the CEO of these projects and has a fantastic team running
them, as in
April 2017 he was appointed to be the new Director of
Gay and Lesbian Business Association)
the biggest Mediterranean Pride.
Eloi believes that LGBTQ+ companies should be able to rely on LGBTQ+
develop their social responsibility and, in turn, associations should be
rely on companies for project promotion through visibility and financial
He has a strong conviction regarding LGBTQ+ rights and the need to make
dedicate time and effort to work for a better world. Eloi describes
himself as an
entrepreneur, LGBTQ+ activist and LGBTQ+ Marketing & Tourism
Email Eloi Morte
Mustafa KartopuMCO Meetings "Congress" OrganizationsIstanbulTurkey
Mr. Mustafa Kartopu has well deserved his reputation of being one of the
Turkish travel business since February 1969. During his long
professional career he
specialized as a Professional Congress / Event Organizer (PCO/PEO) and
first Turkish member of IAPCO (Int’l Association of Professional
Organizers) in 1997.
After many successful achievements in different segments of travel
business such as
airline ticketing, incentive, incoming, outgoing, FIT, tailor-made
tours, etc. and
taking responsibilities of several positions from Officer to Department
Head, VP and
GM, in 2014 he founded MCO Meeting-Congress-Organization, a new Event
Travel Coordinator in Turkish travel market, together with two other
Since 2007 Mr. Mustafa Kartopu has been active as the IGLTA Ambassador to
keeps up the work to represent IGLTA and spread out its mission in his
Email Mustafa Kartopu
John Bridge TravelBeat London United
Phone: +44 (0) 7494
John Bridge is a Director at TravelBeat
- a London
based sales and marketing company specialising in tourism
hospitality. TravelBeat helps organisations from around the world
the valuable tourist market and how to target it effectively,
A native of Liverpool, UK, family
inspire John with a love of travel and a school trip to
in 2001 sparked a lifelong passion for that city in particular. He
he now gets to talk about New York each and every day thanks to
ever growing affinity with the city.
The birth of John's career coincided
Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture in 2008. An event
would also spark his love of tourism marketing. During the year,
to promote events that included a record breaking star studded
show which went on to make over
£1m GBP from a 3 week run. From there, John developed marketing and PR campaigns for numerous cultural clients, winning a Music of Black Origin (MoBO) Award for Merseyside Dance Initiative, which was a particular highlight. However, it was working with LGBTQ+ audiences that John enjoyed most, promoting Liverpool's 'Vogue Ball' for numerous years and launching Liverpool's first Pride in 2010, growing the event's numbers from 21,000 in its first year to over 60,000 by its third. This is something that was achieved by targeting LGBTQ+ tourists from outside the city and included John's first brush with IGLTA.
Following a move to London in 2012, John has been able to live his passion for travel and for marketing, all the while working more and more closely with IGLTA. He is now fortunate enough to be working with organisations based in the USA, France, Belgium, Greece, Italy, UK...and his home city of Liverpool to increase awareness, sales and market share within the tourism sphere.
Email John Bridge
Babs Daitch Thanks Babs the Day Tripper
Babs Daitch, our Ambassador for the USA, roams across the tourism terrain
energy, panache and imposing tempo. For more than three decades, she has
continuously played an important role within the lesbian and gay tourism
Since 1981 she has served as product manager, programming director,
development manager, global travel advisor, tour director/guide, and
planner; she specializes in outdoor adventures and active vacations for
students, and lesbian and gay travelers as well as volunteer and
and emerging markets in the tourism industry.
As a recognized expert on accessing these desirable niches, Babs has
operators, suppliers, agents, associations, tourist boards, consumers,
and the media
to the needs of the lesbian and gay traveler. She has played an
important role on
the Olivia Cruises and Resorts team for six years and has done business
for Spectrum Solutions/Certified Vacations and industry promotions for
Cruises, Glacier Bay Cruises and various boutique companies. As a
took the lead in developing programs and itineraries for Sweet, a
company. Over the years, she has also directed LGBTQ+ travel events for
Cancer Fund; The Gay Games, Amsterdam and Sydney; San Francisco AIDS
National Center for Lesbian Rights; Human Rights Campaign; Spectrum
An Uncommon Legacy Foundation.
Babs became a member of IGLTA in 1990, and previously served as a board
association treasurer. She also handles a range of special projects.
at IGLTA’s 30th Anniversary convention in Chicago, Babs was named
Ambassador of the
Year by the IGLTA staff.
Email Babs Daitch
Shiho IkeuchiHotel Granvia KyotoKyoto,
Phone: +81.75.344.8888 Ext
Ms. Shiho Ikeuchi, Director of Overseas Marketing at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto,
over 20 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry,
extensive and diverse management background in hotel and restaurant
sales, and marketing. Over the past few years, Ms. Ikeuchi has been
involved in the development of LGBTQ+ tourism in Japan, and steadfastly
increase the number of national IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian
In coordination with her team at the Hotel
, Ms. Ikeuchi was instrumental in creating the
Package’ in March 2014. At present, same-sex marriage is not legally
Japan, and the number of wedding venues that accept ceremonial same-sex
very limited. As the direct result of Ms. Ikeuchi’s keen insight and
efforts, Hotel Granvia Kyoto was the very first hotel in Japan to
announce the acceptance of same-sex weddings – a true feather in the cap
hotel that has been highlighted by numerous international and domestic
outlets. This exclusive three-night package offers LGBTQ+ couples from
world a rare opportunity to experience an authentic traditional Japanese
and it attracts not only international travelers but also domestic
In her role as the Director of Overseas Marketing, Ms. Ikeuchi’s
towards attracting and satisfying the special needs of LGBTQ+ travelers,
as well as
her tireless efforts towards organizing the involvement of local
governments – are talents that are truly deserving of exceptional
Email Shiho Ikeuchi
Interested in representing IGLTA in your local region or country?
In order to become an IGLTA Ambassador, you must meet the following qualifications:
1. You are the IGLTA contact for your travel/tourism-related business, which has been an IGLTA member for at
least one year.
2. You currently have residence in that country and speak that country's language.3.
You have attended at least one IGLTA annual global convention.
4. You are aware the position is a
volunteer (non-salaried) job, paying only a commission for acquiring new members & sponsors.
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