The gathering attracted dozens of buyers, suppliers and tourism insiders from around the globe for three days of networking and education. A variety of trending topics were at the forefront, according to John Tanzella, president and CEO, IGLTA. “Crisis management, as it pertains to the tourism industry, is a leading topic, which encompasses everything from global terrorism to anti-LGBTQ laws,” he said, adding that the new U.S. administration’s impact on inbound tourism is also a hot topic for IGLTA members.
This year’s event attracted big-name speakers from the travel industry, including Roger Dow, president and CEO, U.S. Travel Association, and George Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort. Tourism officials from Guam to Monaco were also present, and a buyer/supplier marketplace provided an opportunity for attendees to make new contacts. The host hotel was The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, and the gala opening night reception took place at The Dalí Museum and the Mahaffey Theater.
The convention also gave St. Petersburg/Clearwater a chance to show off its gay-friendly vibe, with outings to enjoy local nightlife, shopping and dining, as well as information about the annual St. Pete Pride Fest, an LGBTQ pride event that takes place in June. Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, the destination’s tourism organization, maintains a robust LGBTQ travel section on its website.
The annual event was also a time to reflect on the organization’s evolution in the 21st century. “IGLTA has expanded its reach on all fronts: We have members in more countries and in more unexpected destinations,” said Tanzella. “Our scope has moved beyond the original business-to-business model to include consumer outreach. We also have greatly increased our engagement with mainstream brands and organizations and have created the IGLTA Foundation to do more for our members while simultaneously giving back to the LGBT community worldwide.”
Tanzella said IGLTA members have changed the way they approach the LGBTQ market in recent years. “There has been a move away from one-size-fits-all marketing to recognizing the great diversity in tastes and traveler types within our LGBTQ community,” he explained. “Rather than just ‘gay travel,’ we see companies doing LGBTQ tourism outreach that focuses on luxury, weddings, families, adventure, millennials or the transgender market, to name just a few.”
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.