As our 36th Annual Global Convention draws near—24-27 April, in New York City—we are putting the finishing touches on a diverse range of educational opportunities that speak to our broad range of convention attendees across all industry sectors. On 25 April, National Center for Transgender Equality Founder and Executive Director Mara Keisling will address the needs of transgender travelers and share practical advice to help travel companies create a supportive and all-welcoming environment. In “A Fireside Chat with Roger Dow,” we'll hear the latest trends from the President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.


The next morning, Dougal Mckenzie, Google’s Head of Industry for Travel, will share how technology is driving exponential change in consumer expectations. His presentation, “Winning Tomorrow's Traveler in an AI-First World,” sheds light on ways that businesses can effectively connect with, influence, and better serve traveling consumers.


To catch up on the latest LGBTQ+ related industry news and ideas, don’t miss our Travel & Tourism Executive Leadership Panel with high-level representatives from Delta Air Lines, Hilton and the Travel Corporation. Our moderated forums for small businesses owners, travel advisors and Women in Business provide safe, welcoming spaces to brainstorm, connect and create a path to success.


We’re also planning a special session to explore the future of global LGBTQ+ travel. The IGLTA Foundation Leadership Think Tank will bring together top executives from LGBTQ+ welcoming destinations around the globe, with a specific focus on responsible tourism.


Set for 25 April at Google’s Manhattan headquarters, the invitation-only meeting will be moderated by Fred Mayo and Daniela Wagner, two renowned tourism and hospitality business consultants. They will lead a discussion among executives from Destination Canada, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Cape Town Tourism, Destination DC, Italy National Tourist Board, Visit Dallas, Destination Niagara USA, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Discover Puerto Rico, Embratur (Brazil), Visit California, Milano Smart City Association, Destinations International, Tourism Madrid, Guam Visitors Bureau, U.S. Travel Association, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Barcelona Tourism, Visit Salt Lake City, Thailand Tourism, and the Greater Miami CVB.


This inaugural Leadership Think Tank is organized in collaboration with our friends at NYC & Company and NYU’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, with generous support from Miles Partnership and Google. With these great thought leaders and experts around one table, we aim to focus on five main topics of increasing importance in today’s world: overtourism; niche vs. “mainstream” tourism; diversity within the LGBTQ+ segment; destinations’ cultural perspectives that affect LGBTQ+ tourism; and business challenges in emerging destinations. The white paper that results from this meeting will be shared with IGLTA members around the globe.


Because IGLTA strives to edify its members and partners, we are especially proud to unite this elite group of decision makers and educators around the common interest of supporting the LGBTQ+ travel community—with business savvy that drives job creation and local economies. Through the inspired communication that arises from this gathering, we can move toward a future where LGBTQ+ travel is sustainable worldwide.