Fort Lauderdale, FL (6 April 2017)—The 34th Annual Global Convention of the IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association will celebrate businesses and individuals that have enhanced the landscape of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism. The awards will be presented throughout the conference, 4-6 May, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The IGLTA board of directors selects the IGLTA Honors recipients from the association’s member businesses in 70 countries and its allies. “The IGLTA Annual Global Convention promotes education and networking for LGBTQ+ tourism professionals to ensure more welcoming global tourism experiences,” said IGLTA Board Chair Juan Julia. “This year´s IGLTA Honors recipients have been working for years promoting, educating, and improving LGBTQ+ tourism. They give voice to our community and support us as we journey around the world.”

  • Corporate Leadership: George A. Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World Resort. He currently oversees a workforce of 74,000 Cast Members at four theme parks and 26 resort hotels, all in Orlando, Florida. He also serves on the boards of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission Governors Council, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and Give Kids the World. Under the leadership of Kalogridis, Walt Disney World has increased its commitment to diversity and given greater support to LGBTQ+ family travel.
  • Community (based in the convention state/region): Barbara Poma/onePULSE Foundation. The owner of Pulse nightclub in Orlando established a Foundation to assist victims of the mass shooting at the club and to transform the site into a memorial for the 49 lives lost in the 12 June 2016 tragedy.
  • Hanns Ebensten Hall of Fame Award: Christina Guggenberger, who founded the Stockholm Gay and Lesbian Network 10 years ago, has spent more than three decades promoting her home city. This Honor, bestowed on a longtime IGLTA member, takes its name from the man widely considered the father of gay travel.
  • Pioneer in Destination Marketing: Tourism Authority of Thailand, for taking the lead in LGBTQ+ travel promotion in Asia, where there has been little government-supported outreach to our community. The “Go Thai. Be Free” LGBTQ+ campaign launched in 2011.
  • Travel Writer: Andrew Collins began his career at Fodor’s in 1991 and five years later, as a freelancer, authored Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA, the first LGBTQ+ travel guidebook produced by a major mainstream guidebook publisher. He has since contributed to more than 180 Fodor’s titles and countless LGBTQ+ publications.

In addition, the IGLTA staff honors a member of its volunteer ambassador team for outstanding contributions to the association and LGBTQ+ tourism.

  • Ambassador of the Year: Russell Lord, representing Israel, was instrumental to IGLTA’s representation in the inaugural Pink Pavilion for LGBTQ+ travel at the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) in Tel Aviv this year and has been a long-term supporter of IGLTA and LGBTQ+ tourism in Israel.

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

For photos, full bios of the honorees, or interview requests, please contact For more information on the Annual Global Convention, please visit

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

About Visit Philadelphia

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy. On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, and, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.