New, bigger and more colourful: LGBT tourism at ITB Berlin
New Presentation Corner featuring the latest LGBT products from around the world – lectures on unusual LGBT destinations and a transgender campaign – at the weekend the reigning Mr. Gay Germany will be on stage live
Once again, the programme of events hosted by LGBT Travel at ITB Berlin will be as colourful as ever. This year, this fast-growing segment will be relocating to Hall 21b and will feature a new Presentation Corner, where exhibitors can showcase their latest LGBT products. For many years ITB Berlin has already boasted the world's largest range of LGBT travel services. The lectures taking place in Hall 21b will focus on the world's first travel campaign with transgender models, on successful business models exploiting this market, and on LGBT-friendly destinations. On Wednesday, 8 March, at 1 p.m. Clark Massad, vice president, IGLTA, Peter Jordan, founder of Gen C Traveller, and Isabel Garaña, regional director for Europe, UNWTO, will present a study on 'New Horizons for LGBT Travel: a Preview of the UNWTO-IGLTA Global Report on LGBT Travel', revealing new findings on LGBT travel.
This year, the big LGBT Pavilion in Hall 21b will feature numerous new exhibitors, including the app provider Hornet.com, the Illinois Office of Tourism, Aspen Snowmass with information on the big LGBT Skiweek, the Belmond Hotel Group, as well as ALAT.LGBT, the South American LGBT Travel Association. There will also be several newcomers at the show from Spain, including WorldPride Madrid 2017, Valencia and Benidorm, and the Arona Tourist Board from Tenerife. ELLA – Lesbian Travel from Majorca will be back in 2017 as well as Ontario Tourism, Hotel Granvia Kyoto (with first-time co-exhibitors from Japan!), Fort Lauderdale, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) with the travel operator Moments from Mauritius, mCruise with Schauinsland, DerTour and Condor. TomOnTour.com will be once again next to the ITB information stand which will provide information about ITB's LGBT activities and their local partners, e.g. Siegessäule, L-Mag and the Berlin Aids Hilfe and hand out information about the Pink Travel Corner of ITB Asia. Argentina, one of the strategic LGBT Partner of ITB Berlin, will again be represented with an impressive stand.
The LGBT Media Brunch on Wednesday, 8 March 2017 from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. at the CityCube Berlin is an important event for accredited members of the media and bloggers. This is where, in an exclusive and relaxed atmosphere, they can find out about the latest news and trends from the Illinois Office of Tourism who will be the main presenter as well as from Argentina, the Florida Keys & Key West, Hornet.com, Hotel Granvia Kyoto, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), mCruise, Mykonos, Ontario Tourism, TomOnTour.com, Spartacus, the US Travel Association and Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater CVB. Jeff Guaracino, Atlantic City Alliance, CEO, Welcome America, Inc. and Ed Salvato, ManAboutWorld Magazine, will also launch their brand-new 'Handbook of LGBT Tourism & Hospitality', a new LGBT business guide, in the Presentation Corner.
On Wednesday, day 1 of ITB, at the LGBT Pavilion in Hall 21b, the focus will be on face-to-face meetings at the blu LGBT Welcome Reception, which begins at 4 p.m. The TomOnTour Gay ITB Party has also become a firm fixture on the calendar of events. This time, experts and journalists will be following the invitation of the sponsors Hornet.com, Visit Florida and Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater CVB to network and celebrate after work at the Tube Station, which is also where the Mate Travel Award 2017 will be presented during the course of the evening.
At the Presentation Corner of the LGBT Pavilion day 2 will begin with a welcome address by Rika Jean-Francois, commissioner, ITB Corporate Social Responsibility. Sabine Schwanz, director of Tourism Promotion Madrid, and Juan Carlos Alonso, director, WorldPride Madrid, will report on this year's seven-day WorldPride Festival in the Spanish capital, featuring hundreds of cultural, sporting and political events. Aphrodite Dellaporta, Strategic Relationships executive of .LifeThink, will bring gifts from Greece and present trips to Mykonos. ShihoI Ikeuchi, Director of Overseas Marketing, Hotel Granvia Kyoto, will talk about how LGBT-friendly the Japanese city of Kyoto is. Afterwards, at the Japanese Reception at the LGBT Pavilion visitors can find out more about trips to Japan.
Buoyant niche markets
On Friday, 10 March 2017 at 10 a.m., Wien Tourismus, another strategic LGBT Partner, will extend an invitation to a Vienna Breakfast, ensuring a perfect start to day 3 of ITB. Richard Gray, managing director for the LGBTQ Market, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention&Visitors Bureau, will present his plans for the world's first travel industry marketing campaign with transgender models. Yadab Devkota, proprietor of Pink Mountain Travel & Excursions from Nepal, will have information on LGBT travel to the land of Mount Everest and Buddha.
At the ITB Berlin Convention a panel discussion on 'Cruise events for special interest markets: the example of gay and lesbian tourism' will examine the travel industry's increasing focus on special interest markets as well as business models for exploiting niche markets. Chairing the event, Thomas Bömkes, managing director of Diversity Tourism GmbH, will discuss professional database marketing and how other tourism market segments can benefit with guests Nils Casmir, director, Key Account Management/Inside Sales DER Touristik, Ed Salvato, co-founder and chief content officer, ManAboutWorld Magazine, USA, Godja Soennichsen, director, Communications, TUI Cruises, and Oliver P. Müller, an author and cruise consultant. At 4 p.m., the Argentina Reception at the booth in hall 21b will round off the day's events. Visitors will be able to enjoy the traditional Queer Tango Show.
On 11 March 2017, the Saturday of ITB, Visit Berlin, also a partner of ITB, will invite registered guests to the traditional Pink Pillow Breakfast, which will take place at Mercure Hotel Moa, from 9 p.m. Visitors keen to see Mr. Gay Germany Pascal Nissing and his deputy Manuel Wiedemann live will have the chance to do so at the LGBT Pavilion on the weekend of ITB. Together with the Florida Keys & Key West, these two ambassadors for 'One human family' will be showing their support for better education, posing for photos and selfies, and will be available for questions about the Florida Keys.
About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2023 will take place for trade visitors only from Tuesday, 7 to Thursday, 9 March. Since 1966, ITB Berlin has been the World's Leading Travel Trade Show. As in previous years, the internationally renowned ITB Berlin Convention will take place live parallel with the exhibition on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, with selected sessions live-streamed on itb.com. In 2022 it took place as a virtual event on the brand's website itb.com and registered 60,700 attendees from 125 countries who took part in more than 100 sessions featuring 223 speakers. Taking place on one day, the Digital Business Day gave 2,500 attendees from 96 countries an opportunity to exchange views and do business virtually from anywhere in the world. International attendance was high, with 78 per cent of buyers and providers taking part from abroad. A total of 20,000 business contacts were made, resulting in 14,000 leads and 3,200 business meetings being arranged. As a virtual industry platform, the Digital Business Day augmented the ITB brand family and rounded off the trade show concept. In 2022, under the heading 'TRVLX by ITB', ITB Berlin is planning a series of B2B networking events in European markets – the kick-off event took place in May in Georgia. Before the pandemic at ITB 2019, around 10,000 exhibitors from 181 countries displayed their products and services to some 160,000 visitors, including 113,500 trade visitors.
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