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.”
Heathrow Airport built a “bespoke set of anti-drone systems” around its airfield. The system, created by U.K.-based firm Operational Solutions, detects and tracks drones in surrounding airspace. The “new and innovative” system can also locate drone pilots and show their location.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
New upgrades at Frankfurt Airport include renovations at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center, as well as the addition of a new hotel, Frankfurt Airport Marriott. To make room for the new property, the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel was reduced to 779 guestrooms from its previous 1,008 guestrooms, allowing for 233 guestrooms at Frankfurt Airport Marriott. All Sheraton guestrooms are now refurbished.
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.
Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead is on the cusp of updating its spa concept and partners.
A historic U.K., hotel, The Grand Hotel Birmingham is expected to open this summer after extensive renovations. One of the city’s most iconic buildings, The Grand Hotel Birmingham was originally constructed in the 1870s.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
With new stories surfacing daily about disorderly passengers being escorted off an aircraft or, worse, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, countries recently passed legislation ensuring such passengers are punished to the fullest extent.