Media Contact: LoAnn Halden




The award, created with the support of The TreadRight Foundation, champions small businesses committed to sustainable tourism


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (7 July, 2021)—The IGLTA Foundation has announced that LGBTQ+ tour company OUT in Colombia is the recipient of the 2021 Impact Award to honor responsible tourism development. The award was launched this year in partnership with The TreadRight Foundation, the foundation created by The Travel Corporation’s family of brands, to recognize a smaller business member (fewer than 10 employees) of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association whose initiatives encourage sustainable tourism in three key areas: environment, community, and diversity and inclusion.

“With all of the recent challenges our industry has faced, it’s important that we celebrate the work tourism businesses are doing to move the world forward in a better way,” said IGLTAF Board Chair Theresa Belpulsi. “There are so many small IGLTA business members doing great work under the radar, and with this new award, which we’ll present annually, they’ll get a much-deserved moment in the spotlight. We’re thrilled to recognize OUT in Colombia this year for their efforts.”

Founded in 2016 in Medellín, OUT in Colombia is committed to creating life-changing experiences for travelers that also engage members of the local LGBTQ+ community and protect Colombia’s biodiversity. Among the company’s recent initiatives was the formation of the Cocora Alliance to create a platform for charitable giving from tour proceeds; the project is named after the Cocora Valley, home to Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm, which is a major draw for tourists to the region, but also is endangered.

"With every one of our tours, we seek to introduce LGBTQ+ travelers to the new definition of all-inclusive, where you can travel well, travel out, and make a difference all at the same time," said Sam Castañeda Holdren, CEO & Founder, OUT in Colombia. "It is truly an honor to be recognized by IGLTA, the IGLTA Foundation, and The TreadRight Foundation for our efforts to give back to the community through responsible and sustainable tourism. As we strive for equality through travel, we hope that every new experience and cultural exchange leads to more compassion and understanding, while uplifting the diverse communities of the world."

The Impact Award presentation will be held in Atlanta on 11 September at the IGLTA Annual Global Convention, the premier educational and networking event for LGBTQ+ tourism, and includes US$5,000 in convention benefits and marketing support for the winner. A special thank you to the Impact Award judging committee Shannon Guihan, The TreadRight Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Travel Corporation, and co-partner in this initiative; Rika Jean-Francois, ITB; Gary Murakami, Teneo Hospitality Group; David Ryan, Rhino Africa Safaris; and Bruno Teixeira, Blumar Turismo.

“As sustainability in travel evolves, so too must our travel leaders. This is why I feel it’s so important that IGLTA has decided to recognize those of its members who are prioritizing positive impact, be that for the environment, the community, or for the advancement of a more equitable and inclusive world through travel,” said Shannon Guihan, Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer, The Travel Corporation. “It was wonderful to see the applications and the depth of work displayed.”

For more information, please visit

For additional information or images from OUT in Colombia, please contact Gustavo Rivas-Solis, ENroute Communications at


About IGLTA & the IGLTA Foundation

The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association is the global leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel 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. IGLTA membership includes LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ welcoming accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in 80 countries. The philanthropic IGLTA Foundation empowers LGBTQ+ welcoming travel businesses globally through leadership, research and education. For more information:, or and follow us on Facebook @IGLTA, @IGLTABusiness or @IGLTAFoundation, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @iglta.