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NEWS SPECIAL REPORT THE FACTS


O The 37th IGLTA Annual Global Convention will take place at the Unahotels Expo Fiera in Milan on May 6-9, 2020.


O The four-star hotel and conference centre are close to a subway station, giving easy access to the city centre.


O The San Siro stadium is four miles away, while Milan Linate airport is 21 miles; Milan Malpensa is 26 miles.


Above: Milan Cathedral; the city will host next year’s IGLTA convention from May 6-9 Opposite: John Tanzella, president and chief executive of IGLTA


O As well as three days of educational conference sessions, there will be fam trips before and afterwards, and voluntourism and educational excursions.


billion buying power, making it “the largest niche segment in the US” and said sustainability is a big trend in the sector. He urges the trade to find out


more about the market from research papers on the IGLTA website, as well as from the convention. “We had two very useful round-


table discussions for travel agents at our convention in New York and are looking to do three in Milan, especially as we have the support of Jacobs Media Group,” he said. Travel Weekly parent, and IGLTA


media partner, Jacobs Media Group is organising the convention’s buyer and supplier marketplace, and Tanzella believes that “will ensure we get a spread of LGBTQ-friendly suppliers across a wide range of destinations.” Founded in 1983, the association


has seen rapid growth over the past 12 years since Tanzella took charge – now with members in nearly 80 countries, up from 33. “We work with the likes of the


UNWTO and Pacific Asia Travel Association, and we now have


travelweekly.co.uk Guam has done


its homework and research. They are seeing a return on their investment


corporate partners, whereas before it was taboo,” he says. “We work with tourist boards – such as the Italian National Tourist Board – and brands such as Delta Air Lines, Disney Destinations International, Hilton and Marriot International. We support their employees and their clients.” Te first corporate partner was


Asta, the American Society of Travel Agents – similar to Abta in the UK – and IGLTA atends ITB in Berlin and London’s World Travel Market to gain further partners.


Emerging markets Other priorities for Tanzella are the work of the IGLTA Foundation – which supports the mission of IGLTA and its members through


education and research – and the development of symposia in emerging, secondary LGBTQ- friendly destinations. “We hope to organise one or


two a year, in addition to the annual convention,” he says. “An example could be Slovenia, which is starting to do more LGBTQ+ marketing, and southeast Asia – in places such as China, Taiwan and Singapore.” Tanzella has a long pedigree in the


travel industry: his parents worked in tourism, and he was in Delta’s marketing team for 15 years. He has also worked at Destination


DC, the convention and visitors’ bureau for Washington DC, as well as for a human rights campaign. His role takes him around


the world, so when he does have time off, he admits that he likes to stay at home in Fort Lauderdale. Among his favourite destinations is Provincetown, in Cape Cod, Massachusets. “It is charming and uber-gay, with great theatre and seafood,” he says. “It is like Brighton in the UK.”


O The buyer-supplier marketplace event during the 2019 convention generated 1,101 appointments with buyers that sell $91.7 million in LGBTQ+ travel annually.


O The Milan event will be IGLTA’s first convention in Europe since Madrid in 2014.


O In 2016, same-sex unions were legally recognised in Italy.


O As well as being a hub for business and fashion, Milan has Italy’s largest and most visible gay scene.


iglta.org igltaconvention.org


24 OCTOBER 2019


17


PICTURES: Rachel Covello/Outcoast Photography; Shutterstock


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