Greater Fort Lauderdale will be the host destination for the first-ever Pride of the Americas Festival in 2020. The 10-day event, just announced at the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) annual conference in Toronto, will be hosted by Pride of Fort Lauderdale, presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, and include a parade, a beach party, an arts festival, several social events throughout the destination, and a human rights conference focused on LGBT+ rights.
The conference will draw attention to the issues LGBT+ individuals face in Latin America and the Caribbean. Although Greater Fort Lauderdale is close in proximity to Latin America and the Caribbean, these two areas are miles apart regarding the treatment and acceptance of the LGBT+ individuals in their communities. The event hopes to bring international attention to these inequalities while improving education and understanding of the LGBT+ community on a global scale.
“We worked extremely close with Pride Fort Lauderdale to develop the concept of this important and transformational event,” said Richard Gray, vice president of LGBT+ marketing with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Greater Fort Lauderdale has been at the forefront of LGBT+ sensitivity and issues for decades, and we look forward to continuing to lead the way by bringing together experts for this important and thought-provoking event. The Pride of Americas Festival joins the Southern Comfort conference as two of the most important LGBT+ events to take place in our destination.”
Welcoming 1.5 million LGBT+ visitors spending $1.5 billion, Greater Fort Lauderdale is well-suited to host this prestigious conference. With hundreds of gay-owned and operated businesses and the highest concentration of same-sex couple households in the country, the destination is one of the most diverse and welcoming in the world. It’s also home to one of the largest Pride Centers in the country, the world's first AIDS museum, the IGLTA global headquarters, and the Stonewall Museum, one of the only permanent spaces in the United States devoted to exhibitions relating to LGBT+ history and culture.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has been welcoming LGBT+ travelers since 1996, when it became the first convention and visitors bureau with a dedicated LGBT+ marketing department. Since then, Greater Fort Lauderdale has continued to break down barriers and facilitate visibility for the LGBT+ community at large, acting as a pioneer in the hospitality industry and ensuring that the destination is inclusive and welcoming with a diverse, safe, and open community for all travelers.