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The Leading Global Resource in the LGBTQ Tourism Industry.

IGLTA Global Staff

Global Ambassadors

IGLTA Ambassadors represent our association in your local communities. They help market LGBTQ+ travel, hold events and connect our organization with LGBTQ+ travel businesses and travelers around the world. Contact our ambassadors for more information about IGLTA.

Interested in becoming an IGLTA Ambassador? To review the Ambassador Volunteer Agreement, click here. If you need additional information, please email To apply, send a cover letter outlining your qualifications and why you would be a great Ambassador, to

  • Argentina
  • Picture1 (1)







     Cámara de Comercio Gay Lésbica Argentina
     Buenos Aires

     Phone: +54 9 11 4381 8470

     With the objectives of designing strategies  together, empowering and promoting  tourism to our country, supporting the  development of businesses and products  focused on LGBTQ+ segment, establishing and  strengthening links with those companies  that promote Respect for Diversity and  Inclusion at the workplace, the reason we  decided to create this Association.

     Con el objetivo de diseñar estrategias  conjuntas, potenciar y promover el turismo a  nuestro país, apoyar el desarrollo de  negocios y productos dirigidos al Segmento  LGBTQ+ y establecer o fortalecer vínculos con  aquellas empresas que promueven el  Respeto a la Diversidad y la Inclusión en el  ámbito laboral decidimos crear esta  Asociación.

    Email CCGLAR

  • Asia











    Shintaro Koizumi
    Out Asia Travel

    Phone: +81-3-3911-0776

    Shintaro Koizumi, president of Out Asia Travel – a gay and lesbian friendly tour operator offering tour packages in Asia. Shintaro has over 25 years experience in hotel/travel agency industry, and grounded connections in Asia, specializing in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore. Not only does he act as tour operator, he also consults several commercial company and tourism boards in Japan while promoting the LGBTQ+ market inbound and outbound.  He is a proud supporter of PRIDE events in Japan/Taiwan, and receives accolades from the local LGBTQ+ in Asia. Let him be the LGBTQ+ bridge between Asia and various continents, and provide happy trips to everyone.


    Email Shintaro Koizumi

  • Austria
  • Christian Beckmann

    Christian Beckmann

    ARCOTEL Hotels & Resorts



    Phone: +43 676 66 10 220

    Christian Beckmann, Corporate Sales Partner at ARCOTEL Hotels & Resorts started his career in hospitality at age 17 in the Hilton Düsseldorf, Germany. In this position, he obtained an overview of all departments during a three-year traineeship and decided to focus on event management as his main profession. In 2009 Christian moved to the beautiful city of Vienna and had a successful career at the three Viennese Hilton properties but changed after 5 years, to the Corporate Sales Department of the Viennese Starwood cluster with Le Meridien, Hotel Bristol and Hotel Imperial. Since December 2016, Christian has been part of the sales team at ARCOTEL Hotels & Resorts, with great properties such as the ARCOTEL Kaiserwasser, which is located right next to the United Nations, ARCOTEL Wimberger with its up to 900sqm meeting space, and the ARCOTEL Donauzentrum with its new concept in the middle of Vienna's biggest shopping mall.


    Email Christian Beckmann

  • Canada
  • Liz Devine

    Email Liz Devine

    Liz Devine
    Total Advantage Travel & Tours

    Phone: +1.416.240.7700 x 223
    Twitter: @lesbiantravel

    As Vice President of Total Advantage, Liz is responsible for company growth strategies, including the development of unique travel products, marketing programs, travel specialist training & systems innovation. Total Advantage specializes in group travel & speciality tourism, and is a ticketing and hosting agency for independent consultants, tour operators and online travel agencies.

    LGBT specialty division Rainbow High Vacations, which features gay-friendly holidays and travel promotions, is one of several niche divisions, including Luxury Cruise, Destination Weddings  Honeymoons, Educational & Cultural experiences, Corporate & Incentive travel management.

    Liz promotes the growth of LGBTQ Tourism through direct engagement, aligning welcoming destinations & suppliers with community agencies and events. This is facilitated by a lifetime of involvement with local and international LGBTQ sports & Pride associations,and past roles helping to build Business Improvement Associations, PrideHouseTO, Travel Gay Canada, and WorldPride.


     Iris Serbanescu

    Email Iris Serbanescu

    Iris Serbanescu

    Phone: +1 416 619 4414

    As Manager of Trade Development at Bannikin Travel & Tourism, Iris Serbanescu is an expert in spearheading efforts to bring awareness to under-the-radar destinations, lodges, and tour operators. She is passionate about forging sought-after partnerships for her clients, and takes a consultative role in helping her clients see success in the North American and European outbound markets through strategic product development and unique positioning campaigns.

    Iris is most excited about representing IGLTA in Canada and internationally, as co-Ambassador, to support the presence of LGBTQ++ niche through all aspects of the tourism industry. She'd like the industry to view it not just as an afterthought or a separate entity, but as a niche that's integrated into 'mainstream' travel experiences. She's also striving to bring more visibility, both in marketing and in everyday life, to the 'L' in LGBTQ++.

    Iris holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, as well as a Tourism Management Diploma from Humber College. Prior to joining Bannikin as an Account Manager in 2014, Iris enjoyed an internship working at the Four Seasons Hotel in Prague, then kick-started her travel industry career in a marketing and partnerships role at a Toronto-based Virtuoso travel agency. 


  • Central America

     Julio Calvo






      Julio César Calvo
      Cámara de Comercio Diversa Costa Rica
      San José
      Costa Rica

      Travel consultant Julio Calvo, CEO of, is the founder and president      of the Costa Rica Gay and Lesbian Chamber of  Commerce (Camara De Comercio Diversa Costa    Rica), an IGLTA organizational partner. Calvo,  who  has been in the tourism industry for more  than 15   years, is a pioneer in LGBTQ tourism to  Costa    Rica   and Central America. He is currently  focused  on promoting Costa Rica as a friendly  and  safe  destination for the LGBTQ market in the  U.S.,  Canada and Europe. He will also help to  bring  more LGBTQ-welcoming businesses  throughout    Central America into the IGLTA  network.


     El consultor de viajes Julio Calvo, jefe ejecutivo  de  la compañía basada en San  José, también es el presidente fundador de la  Cámara de Comercio Diversa Costa Rica, una  organización colaboradora de la IGLTA.

     Calvo, que lleva trabajando en la industria del  turismo más de 15 años, es pionero en el  turismo  LGBTQ en Costa Rica y América Central.  Actualmente está centrado en promover Costa  Rica como un destino friendly, tolerante y seguro  para el mercado LGBTQ de Norteamérica y  Europa. 

     “Tengo pasión por compartir la belleza de Costa  Rica y la región con los viajeros LGBTQ y estoy  deseando ayudar a las empresas en América  Central a mejorar su visibilidad dentro de la red  de contactos de IGLTA”.

    Email Julio César Calvo

  • Colombia
  • Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce





    Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce (CCLGBTco)

    Bogotá, Colombia

    Phone: +57.1.751.5278

    CCLGBTco is the Official LGBT Chamber of Commerce from Colombia. Founded in 2012 with the support of the US Embassy, they provide services to LGBT owned businesses to support their growth as well as advisory services to major coporations which want to approach the LGBT market within Colombia.

    Email CCLGBTco

  • Germany
  • Betti


    Betti Keese
    Germany & Switzerland

    Betti Keese has been an avid international traveler since a young age, having lived abroad many years before calling Berlin her home. Her education includes a background in Sustainable Tourism Management, and she has worked for several tour operators and as an international tour guide for over 12 years. In 2012, Betti decided to found her own company. GoBeyond is a travel service for the lesbian global community, offering tailor-made tours and small, selected group tours. Her next project is a lesbian travel blog. Betti also actively works with a variety of LGBT nonprofit organizations, following her goal to promote lesbian visibility across the globe. She became an IGLTA Ambassador for Germany in 2015.

    Email Betti Keese

  • Greece



    Giannis Papagiannopoulos 

     Giannis Papagiannopoulos

     Phone: +30 2130041028
     Skype: giannis_antivirus

     Giannis was born in Athens in 1982. Since 2003 is the  publisher of Antivirus Magazine which is the leading LGBT  press in Greece. In 2010 he co-founded homo evolution of  which he is the managing director. Homo evolution is the  leading company in Greece for Gay media, events,  marketing and travel projects. Also since 2003 he has  participated as a volunteer in many NGOs for Human  Rights, Health and Education with projects around the  Globe. Also he is a board member of the Athens Pride  organization, the largest Pride organization in Greece. He  has studied nuclear and Theoretical Physics and  Astrophysics and he is currently working on his PhD on  Alternative Gravity Theories.

    Email Giannis Papagiannopoulos

  • Iceland
  • Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir










     Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir
     Pink Iceland

     Phone: +354.562.1919

     Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir is one of the newest members  of our global ambassador team. She is  co-founder and  owner of Pink Iceland, Iceland‘s leading LGBT travel,  event and wedding company. Birna was born and  raised in Reykjavik, has a bachelors degree in nursing  from the University of Iceland, and used to work at the  National Hospital in Iceland treating patients until early  2013 when she joined Pink Iceland full time.

     Birna has worked with the LGBT community in Iceland  ever since she came out in 2002. She was leader of  the local LGBT youth group, headed the educational  program for the national LGBT organisation for years,  and has talked to thousands of youth about being  LGBT, coming out and prejudice. Birna has worked with  the Reykjavík Gay Pride committee since 2004, she  used to run the only LGBT café and bar in Iceland with  her girlfriend, and is a part time DJ.

    Email Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir

  • Israel
  • Russell Lord






      Russell Lord
      Kenes Tours
      Tel Aviv, Israel

      Phone: +972.54.6787872

    Russell Lord, a travel consultant at Kenes Tours, is our ambassador in Israel. A native of Brooklyn, Russell went on a summer trip to Israel in 1981, met his partner,  and never went back. He brings more than 30 years of experience in providing top professional services for tourists visiting Israel and the region to the table.

    As one of the pioneers in promoting LGBT tourism to Israel (Kenes Tours joined IGLTA in 1998), he has worked hard  in changing that tired perception of Israel as a destination only for traditional pilgrims and religious institutions.  Israel's reputation (and especially the Tel Aviv vibe) as the  cool and happening LGBT destination is out there.

    Email Russell Lord

  • Italy

    Alessio Virgili

    Alessio Virgili / AITGL

    Phone: +39 06.45595885
    +39 06.94810137


    Alessio Virgili is the Owner of Quiiky, the first italian Gay & Lesbian tour operator based in Rome and Milan and the founder of QMagazine, the first and unique italian gay travel magazine printed and digital.
    In 2010 he was nominated the italian IGLTA ambassador and in the same year he founded with TTG Italia Travel Fair, US Airways, San Francisco and Massachusetts Tourism Board the Italian Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
    In 2011 he founded Expo Gay Tourism, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Tourism, the professional italian gay travel fair in Milan and in 2014 also in Rome for the Consumer.
    In 2013 he makes the first research on the italian LGBT Market in partnership with Gfk Eurisko Observatory.

    Email Alessio Virgili

  • Japan
  • Shiho










    Shiho Ikeuchi
    Hotel Granvia Kyoto
    Kyoto, Japan

    Phone: +81.75.344.8888 Ext 4900
    Fax: +81.75.344.4400

    Ms. Shiho Ikeuchi, Director of Overseas Marketing at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Japan, has over 20 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry, with an extensive and diverse management background in hotel and restaurant operations, sales, and marketing. Over the past few years, Ms. Ikeuchi has been aggressively involved in the development of LGBT tourism in Japan, and steadfastly works to increase the number of national IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association) members. 

    In coordination with her team at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Ms. Ikeuchi was instrumental in creating the ‘Same-Sex Wedding Package’ in March 2014. At present, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Japan, and the number of wedding venues that accept ceremonial same-sex couples is very limited. As the direct result of Ms. Ikeuchi’s keen insight and continuous efforts, Hotel Granvia Kyoto was the very first hotel in Japan to officially announce the acceptance of same-sex weddings – a true feather in the cap of the hotel that has been highlighted by numerous international and domestic media outlets. This exclusive three-night package offers LGBT couples from around the world a rare opportunity to experience an authentic traditional Japanese wedding, and it  attracts not only international travelers but also domestic couples in Japan.

    In her role as the Director of Overseas Marketing, Ms. Ikeuchi’s unwavering focus towards attracting and satisfying the special needs of LGBT travelers, as well as her tireless efforts towards organizing the involvement of local communities and governments – are talents that are truly deserving of exceptional applause.


    Email Shiho Ikeuchi

  • Latin America
  • Ylan Chrem











    Ylan Chrem
    Luxury Travel Experts
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    United States

    Phone: +1.305.785.2116

    Ylan Chrem, our ambassador for Latin America, has been a international traveler and a world expeditionary since a young age. At age 17 he decided to leave his beloved Peru and went to study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he improved his knowledge of Hebrew, Japanese and French and received a degree in tourism studies..

    With more than 25 years in the travel industry, Ylan has worked for leading hotels, airlines and tour operators around the world. He has run his own business, South American Travel Experts since 2002; based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he represents leading South American inbound tour companies. He has been involved with IGLTA for almost 15 years, serving two terms on the board and more than seven years as a regional ambassador. His passions are traveling, cooking, classical music, the arts and discovering new cultures from around the world.


    Email Ylan Chrem

  • Mexico
  • Ron K

    Ron Kuijpers

    Phone: +52.998.887.7905
    Mobile: +52.1.998.845.7654

    Email Ron Kuijpers

  • New Zealand
  • Debbie Clarke

    Debbie Clarke
    New Zealand Awaits
    New Zealand

    Phone: NZ +64 27 397 7796 / US +1 508 873 3164

      Debbie is the founder and director of New Zealand    Awaits, New Zealand's only tour operator offering  small  group tours for LGBTQ+ travelers to New    Zealand. New  Zealand Awaits also creates tailor    made trips for  semi-independent travelers, and  privately guides  guests and small groups who prefer  an escorted  experience.  Debbie started her travels  in her early 20s  and values the opportunities she  had backpacking  through Japan, China, Turkey,  Syria, Jordan and Israel.  Those experiences were  transformative and have  shaped who she is  now.  After a career in Special  Education, founding New  Zealand Awaits in 2015  brings Debbie back to her  passions for travel and her  native New Zealand, its  spectacular scenery, its world-  class food and wine,  and its warm welcoming people.  With its progressive  laws and protections for LGBTQ+  citizens and visitors,  New Zealand is a natural choice  for LGBTQ+ travellers  who want a memorable travel  experience in a  welcoming beautiful country. New  Zealand Awaits'  mission is to offer unique travel  experiences that  connect travellers with carefully  selected locals who  not only value working with the  LGBTQ+ community,  but who also ensure high value,  sustainable,  authentic 'Kiwi' experiences.

    Email Debbie Clarke

  • South Africa
  • David Ryan









    David Ryan
    Rhino Africa & Out2Africa
    Cape Town
    South Africa

    Phone: +27.21.469.2600

    An accountant by profession, David Ryan is the intrepid CEO of theRhino Africa Safaris group, which he founded in 2004. Born and bred in Cape Town, David is passionate about Africa, sustainable tourism and wildlife conservation. He is a longtime member of IGLTA, and the Ambassador for South Africa, which recently won the bid to host our 2016 Annual Global Convention in Cape Town.

    Rhino Africa’s rapid growth was just one of the reasons David Ryan was honored to be a finalist in the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. For him sustainable tourism is a business imperative and a means to energetically facilitate beneficial change. This approach also led to him being honored with the IGLTA Pioneer Award in 2011. Rhino Africa was recently named Africa’s leading safari company in the World Travel Awards.

    Email David Ryan

  • Spain
  • Eloi Morte  

    Eloi Morte
    Rainbow Gay Tours

    Phone: +34.633.185.553

    Eloi has worked within the aviation and tourism industry for over 8 years, having lived in many places and visited even more foreign countries. These experiences have allowed him to enrich his view of this world and its different cultures. 

    In 2013 he decided the time was right to act on new ideas, he did some research and found out that in Spain there was not a single company specializing in private gay tours; this was the beginning of his passion for the LGBTI Travel Industry, the beginning of Rainbow Barcelona Tours.

    After that initial step in this new direction, other projects began to join the Rainbow family: Rainbow Gay Tours (offering tours and experiences in Europe), BCNDreams Tours (unique experiences in Barcelona for families) and the Snow Gay Weekend (the biggest ski weekend in Spain). 

    Now, Eloi is the CEO of these projects and has a fantastic team running them, as in April 2017 he was appointed to be the new Director of ACEGAL (Catalan Gay and Lesbian Business Association) and Pride Barcelona, the biggest Mediterranean Pride.

    Eloi believes that LGBTI companies should be able to rely on LGBTI associations to develop their social responsibility and, in turn, associations should be able to rely on companies for project promotion through visibility and financial assistance.  He has a strong conviction regarding LGBTI rights and the need to make sure we dedicate time and effort to work for a better world. Eloi describes himself as an entrepreneur, LGBTI activist and LGBTI Marketing & Tourism expert.

    Email Eloi Morte

  • Turkey


    Mustafa Kartopu
    MCO Meetings "Congress" Organizations

    Phone: +90.533.595.0457

    Mr. Mustafa Kartopu has well deserved his reputation of being one of the pioneers of Turkish travel business since February 1969. During his long professional career he specialized as a Professional Congress / Event Organizer (PCO/PEO) and became the first Turkish member of IAPCO (Int’l Association of Professional Congress Organizers) in 1997.

    After many successful achievements in different segments of travel business such as airline ticketing, incentive, incoming, outgoing, FIT, tailor-made tours, etc. and taking responsibilities of several positions from Officer to Department Head, VP and GM, in 2014 he founded MCO Meeting-Congress-Organization, a new Event Company and Travel Coordinator in Turkish travel market, together with two other colleagues.

    Since 2007 Mr. Mustafa Kartopu has been active as the IGLTA Ambassador to Turkey and keeps up the work to represent IGLTA and spread out its mission in his territory.

    Email Mustafa Kartopu

  • United Kingdom
  • John Bridge 











     John Bridge
     United Kingdom

     Phone: +44 (0) 7494 487696
     Skype: solutions_travelbeat

     John Bridge is a Director at TravelBeat - a London  based sales and marketing company specialising in  tourism and hospitality. TravelBeat helps  organisations from around the world understand the  valuable tourist market and how to target it  effectively, to achieve business objectives.

      A native of Liverpool, UK, family holidays helped    inspire John with a love of travel and a school trip to  New York in 2001 sparked a lifelong passion for that  city in particular. He loves that he now gets to talk  about New York each and every day thanks to  TravelBeat's ever growing affinity with the city.

     The birth of John's career coincided with Liverpool's  year as European Capital of Culture in 2008. An  event which would also spark his love of tourism  marketing. During the year, John worked to promote  events that included a record breaking star studded  Christmas show which went on to make over £1m  GBP from a 3 week run. From there, John developed  marketing and PR campaigns for numerous cultural  clients, winning a Music of Black Origin (MoBO)  Award for Merseyside Dance Initiative, which was a  particular highlight. However, it was working with  LGBTQ+ audiences that John enjoyed most, promoting  Liverpool's 'Vogue Ball' for numerous years and  launching Liverpool's first Pride in 2010, growing the  event's numbers from 21,000 in its first year to over  60,000 by its third. This is something that was  achieved by targeting LGBTQ+ tourists from outside the  city and included John's first brush with IGLTA.

     Following a move to London in 2012, John has been  able to live his passion for travel and for marketing,  all the while working more and more closely with  IGLTA. He is now fortunate enough to be working  with organisations based in the USA, France,  Belgium, Greece, Italy, UK...and his home city of  Liverpool to increase awareness, sales and market  share within the tourism sphere.


    Email John Bridge

  • United States
  • Babs Pic 2014


















    Babs Daitch
    Thanks Babs the Day Tripper Tours
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    United States

    Phone: +1.702.370.6961

    Babs Daitch, our Ambassador for the USA, roams across the tourism terrain with energy, panache and imposing tempo. For more than three decades, she has continuously played an important role within the lesbian and gay tourism community. Since 1981 she has served as product manager, programming director, business development manager, global travel advisor, tour director/guide, and travel event planner; she specializes in outdoor adventures and active vacations for seniors, students, and lesbian and gay travelers as well as volunteer and sustainable tourism and emerging markets in the tourism industry.

    As a recognized expert on accessing these desirable niches, Babs has acquainted tour operators, suppliers, agents, associations, tourist boards, consumers, and the media to the needs of the lesbian and gay traveler. She has played an important role on the Olivia Cruises and Resorts team for six years and has done business development for Spectrum Solutions/Certified Vacations and industry promotions for Majesty Cruises, Glacier Bay Cruises and various boutique companies. As a consultant, she took the lead in developing programs and itineraries for Sweet, a lesbian travel company. Over the years, she has also directed LGBTQ+ travel events for the Breast Cancer Fund; The Gay Games, Amsterdam and Sydney; San Francisco AIDS Foundation; The National Center for Lesbian Rights; Human Rights Campaign; Spectrum Solutions; and An Uncommon Legacy Foundation.

    Babs became a member of IGLTA in 1990, and previously served as a board member and association treasurer. She also handles a range of special projects.  In 2013, at IGLTA’s 30th Anniversary convention in Chicago, Babs was named Ambassador of the Year by the IGLTA staff.


    Email Babs Daitch

Ambassador Eligibility

Interested in representing IGLTA in your local region or country?

In order to become an IGLTA Ambassador, you must meet the following qualifications:

1. You are the IGLTA contact for your travel/tourism-related business, which has been an IGLTA member for at least one year.
2. You currently have residence in that country and speak that country's language.
3. You have attended at least one IGLTA annual global convention.
4. You are aware the position is a volunteer (non-salaried) job, paying only a commission for acquiring new members & sponsors.

Register For A Membership.

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