MILAN, Italy (6 September 2017)—Today at the residency of U.S. Consul General Philip T. Reeker, at the initiative of the President of the Italian Association of Gay & Lesbian Tourism (AITGL), Alessio Virgili, IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella met with the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, and Roberta Guaineri, Councilor of Tourism, Sport and Quality of Life, Commune of Milan. The meeting marked the City of Milan’s official announcement that it will bid to host IGLTA’s 37th Annual Global Convention in 2020 in conjunction with AITGL and the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT).
"The U.S. Consulate General of Milan is pleased to support the candidacy of Milan to host the IGLTA Annual Global Convention in 2020,” said Ambassador Reeker. “This convention is a unique opportunity to increase Italian tourism from the United States and to once again demonstrate to American travelers the extraordinary variety that Italian tourism has to offer, as well as presenting Milan as a true global city.”
Reeker pointed out that the U.S. Consulate General supports the LGBT community in Milan and has participated in the city’s Pride in Milan since 2012. "It is natural that we support the city's candidacy for an event that can bring economic and social benefits to each other,” he said.
In March of this year, ENIT became the first national tourism office to join IGLTA’s Global Partner program, placing them in an elite group of global brands that have committed to year-round support for the association and LGBT-welcoming travel.
“I have enjoyed productive meetings here with high-level tourism and government officials discussing the importance of the LGBT tourism segment, “ Tanzella said. “IGLTA is pleased to collaborate with our partners ENIT and AITGL to expand their outreach in the market as we strive to make the world more welcoming for all travelers.”
"It is estimated that LGBT tourism in Italy is worth about 2.7 billion euros, although Italy is only ranked fifth among the destinations desired by foreign LGBT travelers because of the perception it’s not very gay friendly and is devoid of a dedicated tourist offering. The recent Civil Society Act has helped to improve this perception, but it is still not enough,” said Virgili, who is also IGLTA’s volunteer ambassador for Italy and was instrumental in securing support for the bid. “The recent homophobia cases that occurred this summer were a signal that there is still a lot to do. That is why 2020 can be an appointment for the city of Milan to present itself all over the world as an example of a model city of inclusion. I thank Mayor Sala, Councilor Guaineri, Ambassador Reeker, the Executive Director of ENIT, Giovanni Bastianelli, and Francesco Brazzini of ENIT’s New York office for their support.”
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 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 approximately 70 countries. For more information: iglta.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @iglta.