Fort Lauderdale, FL (April 6, 2017)— IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association is proud to announce that Russell Lord will be awarded the 2017 Ambassador of the Year Award for his work supporting IGLTA in Israel and promoting LGBTQ+ travel to the country. The award will be presented as part of the IGLTA Honors at the IGLTA Annual Global Convention, 4-6 May, in St. Petersburg, Florida. The IGLTA staff selected Lord from the Association’s Ambassador representatives across the globe.


Lord is a native of Brooklyn, New York who went on a summer trip to Israel in 1981 and never went back. He brings more than 30 years of experience in providing top professional services for tourists visiting Israel and the region. “Russell has been an active member of IGLTA for many years. He was instrumental to IGLTA’s representation at the inaugural Pink Pavilion for LGBTQ Travel at the International Mediterranean Tourism Market in Tel Aviv this year and has long been a familiar face representing IGLTA at ITB Berlin,” said John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO. ”He’s been a wonderful champion of LGBTQ+ travel to the region throughout his long career.”

As one of the pioneers in promoting LGBTQ+ tourism to Israel through Kenes Tours, which joined IGLTA in 1998, he has worked hard to change the perception that Israel is a destination exclusively for traditional pilgrims and religious institutions. Lord has spent decades educating the local travel industry about the importance of welcoming LGBTQ+ visitors.

“Receiving such an honor from IGLTA, and to have some of my work and efforts recognized by colleagues in my industry, is the most moving thing that can professionally happen to me,” said Lord. “I've been involved with IGLTA since 1998, and during these years I've met some amazing educated, intelligent, savvy people. To be the recipient of recognition from these individuals who I really look up to is a source of pride for me.”

For photos, a full bio of Russell Lord, or to request an interview, please contact For more information on the Annual Global Convention, please visit

This year’s IGLTA Honors awards are presented with support from Visit Philadelphia. Get your history straight and your nightlife gay:

IGLTA’s Annual Global Convention would not be possible without the generous support of our convention sponsors. Presenting Level – Visit St. Petersburg & Clearwater, Tourism Toronto; Official Level – Blue Man Group, Visit Britain, Embratur, VISITFLANDERS, Italian National Tourist Board, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Visit Philadelphia, Mexico Tourism Board, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Montage Laguna Beach & Preferred Hotel Group; Conference Level – Belmond, COLTUR Peru, Aqua Expeditions, Galeries Lafayette, SilverSea Cruises.


IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association is the leading member-based global organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ tourism and a proud Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers and expand LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact. The association also is a proud supporter of ECPAT’s Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct to prevent child exploitation. IGLTA membership includes LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in more than 70 countries. For more information: and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @iglta.