St. Petersburg, FL (9 May 2017)— IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association’s 34th Annual Global Convention, 4-6 May, brought together more than 400 tourism professionals representing 36 countries to the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club for networking and education – the largest number of countries represented in IGLTA convention history.
“At a time when the news is filled with talk of travel bans and closed borders, our LGBTQ+ travel community united to show its support for diversity and a more welcoming world,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “Our speakers from all tourism segments sent a clear message that our industry has a responsibility to promote inclusiveness. It was especially meaningful to debut the Second UNWTO Global Report on LGBT Tourism at this event.”
The Second UNWTO Global Report on LGBT Tourism, created in a partnership between UNWTO, IGLTA and the IGLTA Foundation, takes an in-depth look at the increasing visibility of LGBTQ+ consumers and the global tourism trends that impact this market. The full report is available for download at iglta.org/unwto-report/.
IGLTA’s convention programming also featured a CEO panel on crisis management, the Entrepreneur Roundtable Discussion for small business owners led by HE Travel president/owner Phil Sheldon, and for the first time, breakout sessions in Spanish.
The fourth annual IGLTA Foundation fundraising event, held at the Chihuly Collection, raised more than $10,000 for education, research, and developing the next generation of LGBTQ+ travel professionals. The Foundation also supported educational and volunteer activities in the St. Pete/Clearwater area on 6 May, including the creation of an original LGBTQ+ mural along the Pinellas Bike Trail that is now a permanent part of the convention host city.
"We're proud and honored to add St. Pete/Clearwater to the list of world capitals privileged to have hosted this event," said Visit St Pete Clearwater President/CEO David Downing. "We've been an up-and-coming gay-friendly destination for several years, but the global visibility that results from hosting 400 of the world's most influential LGBTQ+ tourism professionals puts us on a new map altogether. We simply couldn't be more pleased.”
High-res images available upon request. Next year’s IGLTA Annual Global Convention will be held in Toronto. Visit iglta.org/convention for updates.
IGLTA’s Annual Global Convention would not be possible without the generous support of our convention sponsors. Presenting Level: Brazil Tourism Board - Embratur, Tourism Toronto & Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater. Official Level: AIG Travel, Inc., Blue Man Group, Disney Destinations, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Italian National Tourist Board - ENIT, Mexico Tourism Board, Montage Laguna Beach & Preferred Hotel Group, Visit Britain, Visit Philadelphia®, VISITFLANDERS. Conference Level: Belmond, COLTUR Peru & Aqua Expeditions, Galeries Lafayette, Silversea Cruises.
About IGLTA & the IGLTA Foundation
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’s membership includes LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in 70 countries In 2012, the philanthropic IGLTA Foundation was launched to support the mission of the association and its membership through education, research and leadership development. For more information, please visit iglta.org or iglta.org/foundation and follow us on social media @IGLTA or the IGLTA Foundation Facebook page.