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The Leading Global Resource in the LGBT 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

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • Canada
  • Liz Devine










    Liz Devine
    Rainbow High Vacations

    Phone: +1.416.962.2422 x225

    I promote LGBTQ Tourism through direct engagement and cross-promotion with Associations, Boards and Advisory Committees. In addition to acting as the Canadian Ambassador for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, I am the Vice President of Travel Gay Canada, Co-chair of the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Association, a Toronto WorldPride 2014 Planning Committee member, and a member of the TO2015 Pan/ParaPan Am Games LGBTQ Committee.

    In 2012 Rainbow High celebrated our 30th anniversary of exploration, shared discovery and safe travels. We provide a full range of LGBTQ Travel programs through our full service retail agency, Rainbow High Travel, in Toronto’s Church Wellesley gay Village. We package and wholesale gay-friendly holidays with Rainbow High Vacations, and assist destinations, hotels, and tourism industry members to engage with LGBTQ consumers through Rainbow TravelMarketing. In 2013 we launch Rainbow dotTravel, a new way to build LGBTQ communities worldwide, connecting LGBTQ people who travel with events, places and the people who live, work and play there.

  • Caribbean
  • Andrérojer







    André Rojer
    Curaçao Tourism Corp.
    Miami, Florida
    United States

    Phone: +1.305.423.7156

    André Rojer is the Marketing Manager, North America for the Curaçao Tourist Board, based out of the Miami, Florida office. Rojer, a Curaçao native from the small neighborhood of Barber, on the rural western side of the island, has worked with the Curaçao Tourist Board for seven years.

    He previously served as the Marketing Coordinator in the Northeast U.S. office, as well as the Sales and Marketing representative in Miami. Rojer has also worked on behalf of the private sector of tourism for four years at the Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA) in Curaçao. Rojer’s education includes Hotel and Restaurant Occupational Education and Tourism Management.

  • 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”.

  • Colombia
  • Felipe 2015





    Felipe Cardenas
    Cámara de Comercianters LGBTQ de Colombia.
    Bogotá, Colombia

    Phone: +57.1.751.5278

    Felipe Cardenas, one of the newest members of our ambassador team, is a Colombian entrepreneur with international business experience in different sectors and countries, including the Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Argentina. Since 2011 he has been very active in LGBTQ business with innovative projects such as and supporting the founding of the Colombian LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce (Cámara de Comercianters LGBTQ de Colombia) from his Foreign Invest Agency in Colombia.

    He was appointed CEO for the first two years of operations, with tourism playing a key role in the chamber’s activities. He is based in Bogotá.

  • Czech Republic
  • Petr Prokopik









    Petr Prokopik
    Czech Republic



    Petr Prokopík is owner of, a tour operator specializing in exclusive tours of Prague and the Czech Republic for all LGBT. Originally from Prague, Petr received a PhD in Ethnology from Charles University in 2008 with a specialization in Anthropology of Sexuality. He has been lecturing on Cultural Anthropology at universities in the Czech Republic..

    Currently he is continuing anthropological research focusing on STDs, depression and addictions among LGBT, collaborating with UCLA. Petr is involved in many community projects in the Czech Republic, such as promoting Prague Pride, Czech HIV/AIDS charities, Czech P-FLAG, and LGBTQ rights in general through his business.


  • France
  • Benoît Breton

    Benoît Breton 

    Phone: +33.(0)672 64 87 11
  • Germany
  • Betti


    Betti Keese


    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 LGBTQ nonprofit organizations, following her goal to promote lesbian visibility across the globe. She became an IGLTA Ambassador for Germany in 2015.

  • 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 LGBTQ 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.

  • Iceland
  • Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir










    Birna Hrönn Björnsdóttir
    Pink Iceland

    Phone: +354.562.1919

    irna 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ community in Iceland ever since she came out in 2002. She was leader of the local LGBTQ youth group, headed the educational program for the national LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ café and bar in Iceland with her girlfriend, and is a part time DJ.

  • India

  • Raj2






    Rajat Singla

    PINK Vibgyor
    New Delhi

    Phone: + 91.9717.07.9995

    Rajat Singla continues a family tradition with his work in the tourism industry while also making his own mark. He started the Pink Vibgyortravel agency and later teamed up with Irregular tours to sell gay tours to the Indian subcontinent and worldwide.

    His concept is to run professional and ethical gay tours, and to promote awareness of gay identity to the Indian gay community.

  • Israel
  • Russell







    Russell Lord
    Kenes Tours
    Tel Aviv, Israel

    Phone: +972.54.6787872

    Russell Lord, a travel consultant at Kenes Tours, is our new 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ destination is out there.

  • 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 LGBTQ Market in partnership with Gfk Eurisko Observatory.

  • 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.


  • Lebanon
  • Bertho Makso

    Bertho Makso

    Phone: 961.3.004572

  • Mexico
  • Ron K

    Ron Kuijpers

    Phone: +52.998.887.7905
    Mobile: +52.1.998.845.7654
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Spain
  • David Martin








    David Martin
    Diversity Consulting

    Phone: +


    Graduated from the Vienna University of Economics and European Union Business as well as from the Madrid’s Technical University in Aeronautical Engineering.Doctoral Tesis:  "Managing Change in Mutating Markets: Alternative Business Process Management as a Key Tool for your business success" Master’s Degree in Enterprise Business Systems. He has over 14 years’ experience in systems and marketing consulting. He has worked in different managing positions for multinationals such as Vodafone Group and Generali Insurance Group in over 10 countries including USA, Australia, Egypt, Hungary, Austria, Germany, England and Spain. At the present he is the CEO and Co-Founder of Diversity Consulting, a company that helps large corporations approach the LGBTQ Market.

  • 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.

  • 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 LGBT 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 LGBT 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.


  • 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.


  • Western 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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.


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.

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