AUCKLAND (24 May 2017)—IGLTA, the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association announced today the appointment of its first volunteer ambassador to New Zealand. Debbie Clarke, founder and director of inbound tour company New Zealand Awaits, will assist with membership support and development throughout the country and promote IGLTA’s efforts to make the world more welcoming for LGBTQ+ travellers.

“Beautiful, friendly New Zealand has so much to offer, and we want to ensure that LGBTQ+ travellers have access to a network of welcoming tourism businesses there,” says IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “We’re thrilled to have an engaged IGLTA member like Debbie on our team to open up dialogue with local tourism leaders on the importance of our market and increase IGLTA’s visibility.”

New Zealand Awaits creates tailor-made trips for semi-independent travellers and privately guides guests and small groups. Clarke, an avid traveler since her early 20s, launched the company in 2015 to connect travellers with locals who value working with the LGBTQ+ community and ensure sustainable, authentic experiences.

"It is a huge honour to be IGLTA's Global Ambassador for New Zealand,” said Clarke, who is from Morrinsville on the North Island. “New Zealand is a fantastic country for LGBTQ+ people: We have marriage equality, non-discrimination laws, and LGBTQ+ people are widely accepted and integrated into society. Our military is ranked the most inclusive in the world! All of this makes New Zealand a warm, welcoming country for LGBTQ+ travellers to visit. We know this, but I don't think the rest of the world does. I see my new position as a great opportunity to let the world know, too."

IGLTA's program of global volunteer ambassadors allows the association to better serve its member businesses in 70 countries. If you’d like to connect with Clarke, please email


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+ travellers 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 70 countries. For more information: and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @iglta.