Today’s show was a milestone for us, the first on GAY TRAVEL. This market is expanding by leaps and bounds, both in the US and overseas. In 2008, for example, it generated over 65 billion in revenue for US marketers.
Guests included John Tanzella, Executive Director for the IGLTA ( International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association ) which has members in 63 countries, and offices in 15. It works with all the majors in travel and tourism including national and international media. Its purpose is to assist the gay and lesbian traveler through marketing, education, networking and special events throughout the year. Link: www.IGLTA.org
The IGLTA’s counterpart in Canada is Travel Gay Canada. Its CEO, Darryl Schuurman, is responsible for improving economic opportunities for gay-friendly organizations in the tour and travel business through market research, market development and the promotion of Canada as a gay-friendly destination. The parent is The Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Darryl is also the Manager of Market Development for VIA, the national railway system of Canada.
On the Canadian side also was Greg Larocque, President, Gay & Lesbian International Sports Association, NA, which is promoting the 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia as well as PRIDE HOUSE, new venture. It will be located in the Pan Pac Hotel in Whistler Village, BC. This is planned as a welcoming venue for the GLBT athletic community, the first of its kind. It will also provide information on GLBT events throughout the year, as well as conferences, festivals, and important initiatives for this audience and will interface with a number of social outreach organizations including EGALE, LIGIT, GLISA and RAINBOW REFUGE. Refer to: email@example.com for more information.
From American Airlines we heard from Betty Young. She is the Manager for Diverse Segment Marketing there. She’s involved in all aspects of group diversity, and works closely with her associate, George Carrancho, AA’s national director of the LGBT segment, headquarted in Dallas, Texas. Previous to her current assignment Betty served on AA’s Rainbow team in a number of areas including service marketing and customer relations.
Alan Beck has been the Publisher of Columbia Fun Maps for the past 18 years and currently serves on the board of both Travel Gay Canada and the IGLTA. His company provides physical and on-line maps covering the major gay and lesbian destinations in the US and Canada. The maps have earned a reputation as being a “must have” item for the gay and lesbian community. For the latest “in” destination on both sides of the border this is the one to have. Note- logististic are provided with whatever destination you may have in mind. Link: www. FunMaps.com for more info.
From the lodging industry we were guested by Bryan Halker from Kimpton Hotels Corp. Bryan is part of the Corporate Relations Department headquartered in San Francisco, CA. His responsibities include providing the gay and lesbian community with affordable lodging through the various promotional programs his office offers. Bryan works with a variety of travel outlets to encourage opportunities throughout the US for his GLT audience.