Gay & Lesbian Travel: World’s biggest display at ITB Berlin
Large LGBT Pavilion features newcomers – popular LGBT Media Networking Brunch – lectures and discussion round at ITB Berlin Convention on trips to established and emerging destinations in the Gay & Lesbian travel market – TomOnTour’s Gay ITB Party on 9 March 2016 and other local events
Gay and lesbian travel is one of the fastest-growing markets in the international travel industry. ITB Berlin presents the world’s largest display of travel options and the latest trends and products at a single show.
The LGBT Pavilion in Hall 3.1b is the place to head. The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) will be the centre of attention, along with Kenes Tours from Tel Aviv, and newcomers such as the organiser Moments from Mauritius and Club Holidays Adventures from India. Also appearing at the pavilion for the first time are Quiiky Gay Tours from Italy and mCruise, a new gay cruise operator. Exhibitors returning to the show include Ontario Tourism, Hotel Granvia Kyoto from Japan, Wien Tourismus, Diversity Consulting International from Madrid, and the island of Mykonos. Representing the USA again are the popular LGBT destinations Florida Keys & Key West, and the Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Exhibitors from South America include Brazil, which will be attracting attention with a photo wall for the 2016 Olympics, as well as Argentina with queer tango demonstrations. ITB’s LGBT partner Diversity Tourism/TomOnTour will be showing its wide range of products and services. On 9 March, the Wednesday of ITB, starting at 4 p.m., the Spartacus International Gay Guide will be inviting visitors to a reception on its stand. Partners are the IGLTA, Berliner Aidshilfe and airberlin. On the Saturday of ITB at 4 p.m., the well-known Mate Travel Award will be held for the first time in the Gay & Lesbian Travel Pavilion. mCruise, Condor Flugdienst and Schauinsland Reisen will be organising for the first time the Gay Café in the pavilion.
The LGBT Media Networking Brunch, which has established itself as an international networking event, will take place on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. The hosts are ITB Berlin and Visit Florida & Partners: Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater CVB, Beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Florida Keys & Key West. Also taking part will be the Illinois Office of Tourism, the US Travel Association, Visit Britain, Ontario Tourism, Visit Brüssel, Visit Benidorm, Spartacus and TomOnTour/ITB Berlin.
On Tuesday, 8 March, on the eve of ITB Berlin, the IGLTA and a new member of the organisation, the Pacific Asian Travel Association (PATA), as well as the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) will be inviting registered guests to a networking reception at Hotel Berlin.
On Wednesday, 9 March, an event on the ITB Berlin calendar not to be missed is the TomOnTour’s Gay ITB Party, which this time will be taking place in the recently opened Hotel Amano Grand Central and is also sponsored by Visit Florida & Partners. A prize draw will offer the chance to win two Lufthansa tickets. Due to high demand, only invited guests will be admitted.
On the Thursday of ITB from 5 to 6 p.m., Argentina will be organising a reception on the LGBT stand of Argentina in Hall 3.1. H.E. Gustavo Santos, the tourism minister of Argentina, will sign a strategic partnership agreement with ITB Berlin, which aims to jointly promote and develop the LGBT travel segment.
On Friday, 11 March, from 9 to 11.30 p.m. at Axel Hotel, at the IGLTA & Axel Hotel Berlin ITB Party, there will be plenty of opportunities to network and meet people. On admission, guests are requested to give 10 euros to the prize draw, which together with the proceeds from the draw will be donated to the IGLTA Foundation. This foundation aims to obtain safety, dignity, and respect for LGBT travellers and travel agencies, particularly in regions where tourism is still developing. ITB Berlin supports the IGLTA Foundation.
On the Saturday of ITB the ITB IGLTA partners visitBerlin and the pink pillow Berlin Collection Hotels will be inviting registered guests to the LGBT ITB breakfast in Hotel Sylter Hof Berlin.
LGBT tourism at the ITB Berlin Convention
On Friday, 11 March, at the ITB Berlin Convention, day three of the ITB Destination Days will be addressing the topic of gay and lesbian travel. Taking as its heading ’New challenges for established and emerging destinations in the Gay & Lesbian travel segment’, the focus will be on LGBT destinations which have already attained the limits of possible growth and are now embracing niche market products such as transgender marketing or trips rainbow families. On the other hand, there are many regions in the world where LGBT travellers are not yet welcome. Following introductions by Rika Jean-François, CSR commissioner, ITB Berlin, and a board member of IGLTA and the IGLTA Foundation, Peter Jordan, Senior Tourism Analyst, Toposophy, from Amsterdam; Thomas Roth, founder, Community Marketing & Insights, San Francisco; LGBT Research and partner of ITB Berlin; and Thomas Bachinger, Market Management USA, UK, India, from Wien Tourismus will be talking about their experiences and the challenges facing the various markets. Afterwards, a discussion round moderated by Thomas Bömkes, managing director, Diversity Tourism GmbH, LGBT Consultant ITB Berlin, will take place involving all the participants.
ITB Berlin is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA): www.iglta.org. Additional information about the ITB LGBT travel segment can be found at http://www.itb-berlin.com/lgbt. To find out more, exhibitors can contact Rika Jean-François, CSR commissioner, ITB Berlin (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Thomas Bömkes, LGBT consultant, ITB Berlin (TB@diversitytourism.com).
About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2016 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 9 to 13 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 9 to Saturday, 12 March 2016. More details are available at www.itb-convention.com. ITB Berlin is the global travel industry’s leading trade show. In 2015 a total of 10,096 companies and organisations from 186 countries exhibited their products and services to 175,000 visitors, who included 115,000 trade visitors.
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