Global LGBTQ+ travel association unites tourism professionals around the shared goal of creating a more welcoming world for all travelers
TORONTO (15 May 2018)— IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association’s 35th Anniversary Global Convention, 9-12 May at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, brought together approximately 500 tourism professionals representing 40 countries to share innovative ideas and best practices, making it the best attended and most globally diverse conference in IGLTA’s history.
“The numbers clearly show that after 35 years, our convention is not only more relevant than ever, but also that the desire to engage and support LGBTQ+ travelers is expanding across the globe,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “Our participants include the thought leaders of our market and will help IGLTA to advance LGBTQ+ travel globally throughout 2018 and beyond. I’m so proud of the content we shared and the connections that were made this year in Toronto, our incredibly warm and inclusive host city.”
Among the highlights: Michael Kajubi, a gay tour operator in Uganda sharing his personal experiences on the ground in a country known for homophobia; Drew Cumpson, a ventilated quadriplegic gay man educating the industry on accessibility in travel; and in-depth looks at global travel data and trends, the intersection of human rights and tourism and responsible travel. (For more on the full #IGLTA2018 agenda, please visit iglta.org/convention/program/agenda/)
Voyage, the IGLTA Foundation benefit held at the Fairmont Royal York during the convention and presented by Disney Destinations, raised more than US$40,000 for education, research, and developing the next generation of LGBTQ+ travel professionals, making it the most successful IGLTAF fundraiser to date. The event included an interview with Sharon Gless, Gale Harold, Peter Paige and Scott Lowell from the American-Canadian production of Queer As Folk and the presentation of IGLTA’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award, to The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau. Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and LGBTQ2 Liaison to Trudeau, accepted the award on the Canadian Prime Minister’s behalf.
“With 40 countries represented, Toronto welcomed the world for IGLTA’s Annual Global Convention—a true passion project for all of us both times the convention has come to Toronto,” said Johanne Bélanger, President & CEO of Tourism Toronto. “Toronto is one of the most welcoming and inclusive cities in the world and that sense of welcome was on full display during IGLTA. On behalf of Tourism Toronto and all of our partners, congratulations on a spectacular 35th convention.”
High-res images available upon request. Next year’s IGLTA Annual Global Convention will be held 24-27 April in at the Hilton New York City. Select content from the Toronto convention will be available online soon. 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 – Tourism Toronto, Disney Destinations ©, NYC Company; Official Level – AIG Travel, Inc., Air Canada, Destination Ontario, Embratur, Fairmont Royal York, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Italian National Tourist Board, ProColombia, Vienna Tourist Board, Visit Britain, Visit FLANDERS, Visit Philadelphia®, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater; Conference Level – Inprotur Argentina, Belmond, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Hornet, International Experience Canada/Government of Canada, Los Angeles Tourism, Pride Media, Silversea Cruises, Visit West Hollywood.
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 advance LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact. The philanthropic IGLTA Foundation supports the mission of IGLTA and its membership with a focus on education, research and developing future leaders in LGBTQ+ tourism. IGLTA membership includes LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in more than 80 countries. For more information: iglta.org or iglta.org/foundation and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @iglta.