REGISTRATION MORE THAN DOUBLED for the sixth annual edition of LGBT Confex, which took place in October 2016 at Mexico City’s World Trade Center. And now organizers are ready to take the event to a brand-new destination: Colombia.
More than 600 people registered for the sixth annual edition of LGBT Confex, Mexico’s largest tourism and business conference focused on the growing LGBTQ segment. For two and a half days, representatives of government tourism offices, hotels, tour operators and other members of the business community networked, made presentations and met the general public. The trade show floor included sizeable displays by sponsors including AT&T, Scotiabank and Mundo Cuervo, as well as exhibitors like Mexico Boutique Hotels, Interjet and the tourism offices of Mexico City and the state of Morelos.
Much discussion at the conference centered on the evolution of the LGBTQ market. As in many parts of the world, the LGBTQ segment in Mexico is becoming increasingly accepted as part of the so-called mainstream market, according to Fernando Castillo, owner, Condesa Haus, a boutique hotel in Mexico City’s chic Condesa district. “The market will be less and less LGBT-specific, because there’s more and more integration,” he said. “For me, it’s not a matter of having to advertise that I accept gay people. I accept everyone. More and more businesses are becoming better integrated.”
Participants in a panel about trends in the hospitality industry echoed that sentiment. “Within the last 10 years there has been a general change in hotel employees, in social channels and marketing,” said Paco Carrera, vice president of sales, Oasis Hotels & Resorts, which markets its Oasis Sens hotel in Cancún to the LGBTQ market.
“The most important thing to perfect is service,” said Saul Lomelí Guerrero, associate director, Neta Comunicación, a marketing company that works with clients including Westin and Aloft hotels. “You could sell incredible service, but if when guests arrive it turns out the service isn’t like how you sold it, that’s a big problem.”
LGBT Confex — which takes place next in Mexico City on Sept. 29–30 — is expanding its horizons. Ruben Sandoval, the event’s CEO and founder, announced plans to debut a similar conference in Bogotá, Colombia, May 26–27. “Colombia is a growing and important destination for LGBT travelers and for doing business,” he said. “We see great opportunities for growth and can’t wait to get together with local and international businesses, tourism experts and travelers in Bogotá.”
The world’s first and highest 360-degree infinity pool will open in Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. One of the region’s most anticipated attractions, AURA SKYPOOL will begin welcoming guests in mid-November.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.