From the CEO: Come to New York, Where It All Began
In New York City, the 2019 forecast is rainbow-tinted. It’s the year the city commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising—the fateful event back in June 1969 that ignited the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. In the half-century since then, Pride marches, protests, festivals, and other celebrations of visibility and fortitude became inherent to our community.
We’re proud that IGLTA’s gatherings have long been among those galvanizing events. And next year, we’re thrilled to hold our 36th Annual Global Convention in the city where it all began.
Taking place 24-27 April, 2019, our convention will be one of the first major events leading up to WorldPride NYC in June. We’re working closely with NYC & Company, the city’s official destination-marketing organization, to heighten awareness of Stonewall’s milestone anniversary and one of the country’s all-time biggest Pride events.
(Remember to register by 31 December 2018 for early bird discounted convention rates.)
Even though this will be our first convention in New York, it seems fitting for IGLTA to help kick off the city’s momentous 2019 Pride season. The city is an international hub that attracts more LGBTQ+ travelers than any other in North America (around six million annually), many of whom cross an ocean to explore it. Meanwhile, our members tend to be avid travelers themselves, and understand the opportunities and connections that await in such a dynamic world capital.
Our convention is designed to facilitate those opportunities and connections, both to help build members’ businesses and broaden personal ties across the LGBTQ+ community. Through programming like our Buyer/Supplier Marketplace, Media Networking Event, panel discussions, and educational breakout sessions, attendees often discover new perspectives that inspire and enrich their pursuits.
NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon, an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and an IGLTA supporter, said, “We want New York City to be recognized as the most welcoming, and the most inclusive city in the world.”
His team is backing up that bold charge with “Millions of Moments of Pride,” the WorldPride NYC theme that will fill 2019 with diverse events, culminating in the blowout Heritage of Pride March and PrideFest on Sunday, June 30. The city expects around three million visitors to attend, and we can be sure that many of IGLTA’s members and partners will be there too.
Fifty years ago, our LGBTQ+ forebears may not have believed how our world would change. In 2019, despite so many ongoing struggles, we are privileged to have freedoms they may not have imagined possible. Travel is one of them. We hope you’ll take a trip to New York in April to join us, and keep working toward a world every traveler can explore proudly.
Click here for photos from the recent NYC & Company Talks: Welcoming LGBTQ+ Travel and WorldPride 2019, which included a presentation from IGLTA.
Featured image photo credit: Malcolm Brown