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IGLTA eNewsletter

IGLTA Foundation elects new officers

The IGLTA Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the association, held a board meeting last week in New York, which included the election of new officers for 2016-2017. Chair: Gary Murakami, MGM Resorts International; Vice Chair: Reginald Charlot, NYC & Company; Secretary: Tanya Churchmuch, MuchPR; Treasurer: Don Richardson, Brand USA. The board members are: Theresa Belpulsi, Destination DC; Selisse Berry, Out & Equal; Terry Dale, USTOA; Steven Eidelberg, Accor Hotels; Rika Jean Francois, ITB Berlin; Pamela Herr, Aspen Gay Ski Week; Michael McDowell, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; Tom Nicols, Arcus Foundation; Scott Seed, Universal Orlando; Phil Sheldon, HE Travel; and John Tanzella, IGLTA. The Foundation also held a fundraising cocktail reception in New York that raised more than $9,000. The funds will support its global education and research efforts and help to develop future LGBT leaders in tourism. A special thank you to NYC & Company, the Shubert Organization/Broadway Inbound, Delta Air Lines, and USTOA for their generous support of the event.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

IGLTA partners with ETC

IGLTA recently signed an organizational partnership agreement with the European Travel Commission, an association uniting 32 European national tourist offices with the aim of promoting Europe as a tourism destination in long-haul markets. According to the ETC, the official announcement on 17 May generated their all-time-best press interest for a partnership. Both associations are committed to a world where all travelers feel welcome and share in the goal of strengthening the tourism industry at large.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Global Partner Spotlight: Belmond

The Belmond collection embraces an exceptional range of travel experiences scattered across welcoming destinations worldwide. Earlier this year, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town hosted IGLTA's 33rd Annual Global Convention, our most successful conference outside of North America. In 2015, the company named Tom Alderink as its first Director of LGBT Sales and launched an LGBT microsite. Belmond's commitment to diversity and inclusion continues with their creation of an LGBT Advisory Board, a group of key industry partners that will help the brand to meet and exceed their clients’ expectations. The advisory board includes IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella and IGLTA members Aspen Gay Ski Week, ClassicTravel.com, OutThere/Travel, Source Events, Winq and Zoom Vacations.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

LGBT travel evolving with hospitality industry

Did you know 45 percent of consumers under the age of 34 will do repeat business with LGBT-friendly companies? That is only a snippet of insight about the ongoing evolution of LGBT marketing that travel professionals received during the second-annual LGBT Tourism & Hospitality Symposium during LGBT Week NYC. LGBT travelers in the U.S. alone spend approximately $75 billion per year, and most destinations see the LGBT traveler positively affecting their destination.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Another African country opens doors to LGBT travelers

The African tourism world became larger and more beautiful for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) travelers. Seychelles' National Assembly has passed an amendment to the penal code that decriminalizes the act of sodomy. The outspoken Seychelles Minister of Culture and Tourism Alain St.Ange took this opportunity and told eTurboNews on the sideline of the ongoing FESTPAC festival of Pacific Island Cultures in Guam.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Mexico's president calls for enshrining same-sex marriage in the constitution

A day after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed enshrining same-sex marriage in the traditionally conservative country's constitution, Mexico's Catholic Church said it opposes the move. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports on All Things Considered that the Church said same-sex marriage "cannot be equated with the marriage of a man and a woman." The country's bishops are calling for lawmakers to "study carefully the effects of same-sex unions on society."

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

MLB investigating Padres anthem flap

Major League Baseball will investigate whether employees and contractors of the San Diego Padres intentionally played an incorrect track to accompany a singing of the national anthem by the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told USA TODAY Sports that its department of investigations will determine whether there was intent on the part of the club when a recorded track featuring a woman's voice played just as the chorus was ready to sing The Star-Spangled Banner. 21 May game was designated as Pride Night by the club.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

In Latin America, LGBT legal rights change more quickly than attitudes

When Mexico's president announced a proposal to enshrine same-sex marriage in the Constitution, he bolstered Latin America's standing as a global leader in promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. Mexico will become the fifth Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriages, should President Enrique Peña Nieto's proposal be approved.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Hotels slip into bed with gay men, advertising results

Hilton Hotel and PNC Bank have slipped into bed with gay men, promoting their brands on back covers of gay magazines this month with ads showing male couples in bed together. Hilton has two scruffy, 20-something guys romantically cuddling up while sharing headphones, while PNC has middle-aged dads spending time with their toddler, one reading a bedtime story to the child while the other falls off to sleep. The Hilton headline says to "Stop clicking around" while PNC's says, "Know you're ready for this chapter and the next."

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

'Unimaginably wrong': Victoria's gay conviction apology speech in full

"Speaker — it's never too late to put things right. That’s what brings us all to the heart of our democracy ... ... here, in this parliament ... where, over the course of decades, a powerful prejudice was written into law. A prejudice that ruined lives. A prejudice that prevails in different ways, even still. That law was written in our name — as representatives, and as Victorians."

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Poll: More than half of Australians support same-sex marriage

Forty-one percent of all respondents agreed that party policies on same-sex marriage would influence their vote, compared to 47 percent that disagreed. An online survey found that 61 percent of Australians said that they believe that same-sex marriage should be allowed. It is the first poll of its kind that compares immigrants and non-immigrants.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Church of Scotland ministers can now be in same-sex marriages

The Church of Scotland's highest law-making body has voted to allow its ministers to be in same-sex marriages. The church's general assembly, which opened in Edinburgh, voted in favor of extending a law passed last May that permits ministers to be in same-sex civil partnerships. The decision, after years of deliberation, means the church maintains the traditional view marriage as between a man and woman, but allows individual congregations to "opt out" if they wish to appoint a minister or deacon in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Once persecuted, Iranian gay rights activist thrives in Toronto

Arsham Parsi fled Iran stalked by the danger of violence and death. But even when the gay rights activist finally found refuge in Toronto, the threats never stopped chasing him. For a while he called the police every week to report disturbing voicemails — mostly, he says, from less tolerant members of this city's sizable Iranian community.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT

Tennessee the latest state on the list for prohibited DC government travel

Councilmember David Grosso's bill to ban state-funded travel to any locality with anti-LGBT laws is looking like a wise proposal, as D.C. adds yet another state to the growing list of places where government employees are prohibited from traveling to as part of their official duties. Recently, Mayor Muriel Bowser banned all official government travel to Tennessee in response to a bill that allows mental health counselors and therapists to claim a religious exemption to treating clients, including LGBT people or those who engage in extramarital sex, whose behavior they find morally objectionable.

25 May 2016 15:14:53 CDT