IGLTA 2011


What is life without a little bit of adventure?  Escaping the mundane day in day out routine you’ve so comfortably settled into is actually much easier than you think.  Hello!  Vacation!!

The international tourism industry is an absolute giant.  Within the industry, there are several sub-markets that have begun collecting steam at an astonishing rate.  One in particular is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel market; the topic of the annual International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Conference held in sunny Fort Lauderdale this year.

Scott Marquardt, our agency’s LGBT Marketing Guru attended this year’s conference and shares a few tidbits.

The conference had over 500 delegates representing 35 countries and an impressive roster of speakers including Google, the United Nations World Travel Organization, and the president of the US Travel Association.

One key message communicated was that the LGBT travel industry is no longer a small niche market. Fort Lauderdale alone plays host to over one million LGBT visitors yearly and they’re not the only ones who have felt the growth in the industry.  Using social media as a platform to launch their Love is in the Air campaign, SAS Scandinavian Air promoted a gay in-flight wedding to a mass audience.  Two million Twitter users heard of the campaign within 65 minutes of its launch.

Another reoccurring theme was the growing connection between internet, mobile technology and how it affects travel and tourism.  With the power of LGBT world community fuelling the fire of all of these industries, the possibilities seem limitless.

Scott Marquardt is an Account Manager at Chester+Company and works with clients such as Rainbow Halifax (Destination Halifax’s LGBT brand) and the Halifax Pride Festival. He also sits on the Board of Directors for Travel Gay Canada (TGC).