Interview with Dana
Office de Tourisme Métropolitain Nice Côte d'Azur
IGLTA Global Partner since 2011
Transformation in Tourism: a conversation with Dana Osikovski from Nice Côte d'Azur Tourist Office
Since 2011, the Global Partnership between the Office de Tourisme Métropolitain Nice Côte d'Azur and IGLTA has elevated our mutual commitment to promoting inclusive tourism in the region, an area of France internationally known for its stunning coastal landscapes, vibrant cultural scene, and progressive attitude.
Among numerous LGBTQ+ initiatives, the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau implemented the "Irisée naturellement Nice Côte d’Azur" project, a label to identify businesses that have had training to better support and welcome LGBTQ+ travelers. The office also curates an LGBTQ+ events calendar, promoting diverse events like the Queernaval, a vibrant, inclusive carnival celebration.
This partnership's impact is especially meaningful for individuals like Dana Osikovski, a transgender woman who works at the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau . Dana, with her background in activism and advocacy, holds prominent positions in various LGBTQ+ associations. Her active involvement in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion exemplifies the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau commitment to diversity and acceptance.
We are pleased to introduce you to her here!
Can you please give us an intro of who you are, where you come from and what you do at Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau - Bureau de Nice - Promenade des Anglais?
Hello, I'm Dana Osikovski, originally from Bulgaria under communism, and I have called the beautiful region of Nice Côte d'Azur my home since 2000. I've been deeply involved in the LGBTQ+ community, starting with opening Bulgaria's first LGBT nightclubs and working as a transgender model.
Upon moving to France, I broadened my horizons by studying in diverse fields such as Leather Arts, Human Sciences, Tourism, Events, Leisure, and Finance. I've built my career around coaching, event organization, hospitality, and communications, providing a unique blend of experiences to my current role.
As I am passionate about supporting and empowering the transgender community, I founded the French Riviera Transgender Association (ATCA) and proudly serve as its President today. In addition, I am the Vice-President of the Association LGBTQIA+ Coted'azur Centers, a collaboration of 22 vibrant LGBT groups.
At the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau - Bureau de Nice - Promenade des Anglais, my role is to promote inclusivity and ensure every visitor feels welcome. Together, we celebrate the diversity and beauty of our region, making it a friendly and memorable destination for all.
What does it represent to you to work at Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureauand be an openly transgender woman?
It’s of great significance to me. It represents an opportunity to be part of a highly professional and respectful environment. I am extremely proud to be part of this outstanding organization, working in an atmosphere where respect prevails among colleagues and visitors. Being able to contribute to the tourism promotion of Nice and the French Riviera, and to interact with an international, multicultural, and diverse public, often allows me to forget that I am a transgender woman.
While there are places in the world where being transgender is still misunderstood or marginalized, my personal and professional journey reflects a positive narrative, as all human beings deserve. Throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to work with diverse individuals, building professional relationships built on mutual respect and high standards for work.
How welcoming was the workplace at the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau for you?
Since my first contact and collaboration with the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, I have met absolute professional, careful, and respectful colleagues, suppliers, and partners. I am extremely happy to be a part of this esteemed organization and to work in an environment that fosters complete respect among colleagues and visitors. I take great pride in being a member of the tourist showcase of Nice and the French Riviera.
In these surroundings, I often forget that as a transgender woman I am sometimes seen in other places as forbidden, different, or marginalized by some individuals who still adhere to outdated perceptions.
In all of my professional roles and at the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau I have always been welcomed and consistently received positive feedback and satisfaction from both customers and superiors regarding my services and relationships.
Is there a message you would like to share with any transgender people reading this article?
To all LGBTQ+ individuals, and particularly to all transgender people, believe in yourselves, empower yourselves, persevere, and never give up on your dreams or projects. Know that anything is possible because you have qualities just like everyone else and have the right to study, work, and grow like any other human being. Respect yourselves, have faith in yourselves, love yourselves, and demand respect from others. It is our responsibility to make it happen because "THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER"!
What can people and travel industry professionals reading this article do to help further trans rights?
To all members of our society, including decision-makers, educators, doctors, parents, and employers, my message to you is to embrace your humanity. It is crucial to acknowledge that every person, regardless of their gender identity, is deserving of respect, equal access to education, healthcare, and opportunities for professional development. Let us all work together for inclusivity, enabling transgender individuals and everyone else to integrate fully into life and realize their dreams. This is what inclusivity truly means.
Together I am sure we can make a difference.