ITB Berlin is the meeting place of the international LGBTQ+ travel industry again
Saturday, 4th March 2023
Source : ITB Berlin 2023 - 4Hoteliers.com news coverage

LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion is the platform for LGBTQ+ tourism – LGBTQ+ Tourism segment features numerous international exhibitors including Visit Malta, GNETwork Madrid and Florida Keys & Key West.

  • Wide-ranging programme on the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion Stage and at the Diversity & Inclusion track at the ITB Berlin Convention

The world’s most international range of tourism products in the LGBTQ+ Tourism segment at any trade show: numerous exhibitors from this market have announced their participation at ITB Berlin from 7 to 9 March 2023. Taking part for the first time in the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion in Hall 4.1 are Visit Malta, where this year’s Europride will be presented, Communitat Valenciana, which is presenting Benidorm and the Gay Games 2026 in Valencia, Visit Buenos Aires, Visit Tampa Bay, the Munich Tourist Board and Proudly Portugal.

Other exhibitors include IGLTA, TOMONTOUR, GNETwork Madrid, Florida Keys & Key West. Industry meetings, press events, presentations, lectures, interviews with experts, panel discussions, networking events and parties make the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion one of the most important meeting places for the LGBTQ+ tourism community worldwide. Visit Malta and EUROPRIDE Valetta 2023 are this year’s partners presenting the LGBTQ+ Tourism segment at ITB Berlin.

During the three-day event, LGBTQ+ tourism professionals and trade visitors will meet with destination representatives and product providers at fascinating networking events and various parties in the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion in Hall 4.1. A wide-ranging programme also awaits LGBTQ+ tourism professionals on the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion Stage and at the ITB Berlin Convention.

Networking events, parties and knowledge sharing on the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion Stage in Hall 4.1

On Tuesday, 7 March at 10 a.m., Visit Malta together with Europride Valetta 2023 and other exhibitors will gather with accredited media members and bloggers to network at the LGBTQ+ Media Brunch, a well-known event, in the LGBTQ+ Pavilion. The official opening of the pavilion will take place at 2.15 p.m. with Gavin Gulia, chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority, and Carlo Micallef, CEO, Malta Tourism Authority, official representatives from Valencia, Buenos Aires, Tampa Bay, as well as Felipe Cardenas, board chairman, IGLTA, who will announce the IGLTA Convention City 2024 at the event. Rounding off day one of the show will be an LGBTQ+ networking reception, organised by Tomontour, at 5 p.m. in the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion.

On Wednesday, 8 March at 11.30 a.m., under the heading ’10 Years – Pink Pillow Berlin Collection’, an event will take place on the segment’s own pavilion stage where Philip Ibrahim, general manager of The Social Hub Berlin, and Ralf Ostendorf, divisional head of Market Management at Visit Berlin, will welcome the guests. At 1.30 p.m., at a session entitled ’LGBTQI+ Tourism: European Insights and Differences’, Philippe De Wulf, managing director of VO Citizen, will present the findings of a survey by the European LGBTQ Media Association & VO Colorus (ELMA). At 2 p.m., at a panel discussion entitled ’PINKWASHING – HOW TO AVOID IT IN 2023!’, Kirstie Pike and Christine Diaz, blogger @onairplanemode and Rachel Ferguson, chief innovation and global diversity officer at Visit Philadelphia, will explain how companies can avoid pinkwashing. At the session entitled ’Level up your Social Media: The Future is vertical video’ at 3.30 p.m., participants can find out everything about the latest trends, dos and don’ts and useful tips for increasing user visibility on social media such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube shorts, from the prize-winning creator, television host and influencer Ravi Roth.

On Thursday, 9 March, the Global LGBTQ+ Business Summit, which this year is in the pavilion, will begin at 9.30 a.m. with an LGBTQ+ networking breakfast sponsored by Visit Brussels. The official opening of the summit is scheduled for 10.30 a.m. In addition to panel discussions and presentations, from 1 to 2 p.m. trade visitors can look forward to a networking lunch sponsored by Tampa Bay, and at 2 p.m. to the panel discussion entitled ’Effective Ways to shape the world towards a more LGBTQ+ Inclusive Place’. The following will speak at the event: Clayton Bartolo, tourism minister of Malta, Jane Castor, mayor of Tampa, Florida, Benedikt Brandmeier, director of Tourism, Events and Hospitality at the Department of Labour and Economic Affairs of the Bavarian Capital Munich, and Fatima Zibouh of Brussels 2030. The entire program can be found in the LGBTQ* Program.

On Wednesday, 8 March at TWO Hotel Berlin by Axel, a party which has already achieved cult status is being organised by ITB’s longtime partner IGLTA. Concluding ITB Berlin on Thursday, 9 March at 7 p.m. at the Ritz Carlton Berlin and taking place for the first time will be the ITB Diversity Gala, at which a silent auction supporting the IGLTA Foundation and the presentation of this year’s ITB LGBTQ+ Pioneer Award will be taking place.

Diversity & Inclusion track at the ITB Berlin Convention on 7 March examines trends and discusses challenges

On Tuesday, 7 March on the Green Stage in Hall 3.1, the Diversity & Inclusion track at the ITB Berlin Convention will feature panel discussions and presentations that will also look at queer topics. In addition to a panel on LGBTQ+ tourism, the focus will be on gender, equality diversity and inclusion (GEDI) and geopolitical aspects in tourism. Leading speakers will report on activities setting examples from around the world and in every tourism market and take a critical look at tourism.

At the Diversity & Inclusion track at 12.10 p.m. on the Green Stage in Hall 3.1, at the panel discussion entitled ’LQBTQ+ Tourism und Resilience’, the participants will talk about the need for LGBTQ+ tourism actors to confront current challenges such as resurgent conservativism and the climate emergency. Among those taking part will be Barbara Poma, founder of the onePULSE Foundation, Benedikt Brandmeier, director of Tourism, Events and Hospitality at the Department of Labour and Economic Affairs of the Bavarian Capital Munich, Rachel Ferguson, chief innovation and global diversity officer at Visit Philadelphia, and Peter Jordan, LGBTQ+ destination development adviser at Gen C Traveller. This will be followed directly by the announcement of the ITB LGBTQ+ Pioneer Award 2023 for special achievements in LGBTQ+ tourism. The official awards ceremony will take place at the ITB Diversity Gala.

At 1.05 p.m., a discussion will take place on peace and tourism and how geopolitical aspects influence travel behaviour, with a view also to gay travellers. Taking part will be Russell Lord, senior travel consultant at Kenes Tours Global Services, Theresa Quiachon, senior consultant at Löning Human Rights & Responsible Business, Petra Thomas, managing director of Forum Anders Reisen, and Natalia Turcanu, Tourism Industry & Marketing manager, Rural Competitiveness and Resilience Activity (RCRA) Moldova, as well as Elon Cushi of Albanian Trip.

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