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.”
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Hotel San Luis Obispo partners with Harmony Cellars for the SLO in Harmony offer. The offer includes 15 percent off a two-night stay Sunday–Thursday, a complimentary wine tasting for two at Harmony Cellars, club member discounts at the winery for the day and the opportunity to explore the town of Harmony, California, population of 18 and located 30 miles from San Luis Obispo. Book online.
Enjoy additional perks at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Vitamin Sea, D & Me offer. Rates begin at $130 per night, including complimentary breakfast daily, a healthy starter at Arrecifes Restaurant, one poke bowl and one drink at El Palmar Restaurant. The use of one beachside pergola per stay is also included. The offer is valid on stays through Dec. 21, and use code S5706 to book.