By John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO,

At IGLTA, we are committed to the well-being of the world’s LGBTQ+ travelers. We are also pragmatic about challenges that can impact travel for everyone.

So with our 37th Annual Global Convention planned for Milan in 2020, we are closely monitoring the status of coronavirus (COVID-19), and its possible implications for our valued participants. In our official statement from our board of directors on 9 March, we announced the postponement of the convention until September/October.

Our IGLTA team is in contact with Italian and European officials. We are gathering information from trusted sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And we continue to monitor up-to-the-minute, factual reports from reliable news sources and health agencies around the globe.

Where our Global Convention participants are concerned, IGLTA considers safety our utmost priority. To uphold that commitment, our team is focused on gathering facts about coronavirus—which enables us to take precautions and disseminate accurate information to our members, to convention attendees, and to all who rely on IGLTA as an international travel resource.

It’s true that coronavirus has the potential to rank among the world’s biggest calamities endured over recent decades, much like outbreaks of SARS or MERS; devastating terrorist attacks and wars; and the shocking 2008 financial crisis.

Just as we have overcome those tragedies, so will we persist now. One does not need to be an optimist to acknowledge that with each catastrophe comes greater intelligence and resilience.

While today it may be tough to predict when or how this virus will at last be overcome, we are confident that our travel community is prepared to withstand this outbreak, and that our Global Convention will, once again, serve as a hub for communication and support. If our connections in travel and among our LGBTQ+ peers have taught us anything, it is that we will get this through this, stronger than ever.

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