The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association’s 38th Global Convention, 26-29 October at the UNAHotels Expo Fiera Milano, was IGLTA’s largest convention outside of the United States to date, with 550 delegates representing 39 countries and territories from around the world. The convention, the premier educational and networking event for LGBTQ+ tourism, the was association’s first European convention since Madrid in 2014. The event was originally set for 2020, but had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic, making it a cause for greater celebration.
Given the current political climate for LGBTQ+ issues, this year’s convention became even more important, strengthening ties between the global LGBTQ+ tourism community and the business community of Italy.
“As we continue to see increasing opposition toward LGBTQ+ communities globally, IGLTA’s convention—built around business networking, education and inclusivity—could not be more critical,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “The incredible outpouring of support for this year’s convention further strengthens our ability to elevate LGBTQ+ voices in the tourism industry and to continue working to ensure LGBTQ+ travelers have access to safe and welcoming experiences as they explore the world.”
The Opening Reception, held at Sforzesco Castle, where guests had the opportunity to visit the Rondanini Pietà, the last work by Michelangelo.
IGLTA’s Buyer/Supplier Marketplace was the most successful to date, generating 1,330 appointments with buyers that conduct over US$100 million in LGBTQ+ business annually.
The IGLTA Foundation Think Tank, uniting global tourism leaders to discuss how the tourism industry can support LGBTQ+ travel in emerging markets facing cultural, governmental or infrastructure challenges.
Main stage content that ranged from discussions of responsible tourism strategies and future LGBTQ+ marketing trends to meaningful conversations about transgender and nonbinary inclusion in hospitality and intersectionality within the queer travel community.
Voyage, the IGLTA Foundation Fundraiser, drew a sold-out crowd of 250 attendees and raised over US$50,000 for IGLTA Foundation initiatives.
IGLTA’s 40th Anniversary Global Convention is set for 20-23 September 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. More information and early registration for next year’s convention can be found here.
Photo credit: Mark Morin/@markmorinii/markmorinii.com