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Tue, 13 Nov 2018

Malta to Host Inaugural LGBT+ Tourism Summit 22-23 November 2018

The Malta Tourism Authority is working with ITB Berlin to host the inaugural LGBT+ Tourism Summit from 22 to 23 November 2018.

The LGBT+ Tourism Summit will be used to discuss the opportunities and challenges offered by this  market segment. Experts will present the latest survey findings and information on current LGBT online marketing trends, illustrate how prospects for business in LGBT+ tourism are developing, and highlight examples of best practices. Discussion rounds will also examine which factors play an important role in the LGBT tourism market.

Rika Jean-Francois. Click to enlarge.

Ahead of the LGBT+ Tourism Summit Rika Jean-François (pictured), CSR officer at ITB Berlin, explained how the market has shifted: “With the LGBT+ community becoming more visible and gaining broader public acceptance, interest in the LGBT+ travel market has increased. LGBT travel has become one of the industry’s fastest-growing markets worldwide and with an estimated 23 million LGBT customers Europe is an extremely important source market.”

On 22 November the Maltese tourism minister Dr. Konrad Mizzi will kick off the LGBT+ Tourism Summit with a press conference, followed by a reception at the Palace Hotel. Prime Minister of Malta Dr. Joseph Muscat will officially open the conference on 23 November. Opening the agenda, Carlo Micallef, deputy CEO and marketing head of the Malta Tourism Authority, will introduce the Mediterranean island as an ideal destination for LGBT tourists. Afterwards, Dr. Stephan Gellrich, an executive coach and senior expert at Accenture Consulting, will highlight the economic importance of this market.

Peter Jordan of GenCTraveller, Amsterdam, will provide a comprehensive overview of the LGBT tourism market with data from the latest LGBT surveys. In his role as a tourism analyst he has authored the global report on LGBT tourism for the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO) together with the IGLTA, as well as the current manual on LGBT travel in Europe for the European Travel Commission (ETC).

 Tom Roth, president of Community Marketing & Insights, San Francisco, and an LGBT research partner of ITB Berlin, will present tourism research findings, case studies and best practices.

 Jaume Vidal of Visit Barcelona will highlight how marketing LGBT destinations can function successfully.

 Afterwards, representing IGLTA USA, LoAnn Halden will speak about the work of the LGBT travel association.

 A panel discussion chaired by Tom Roth will follow, at which Peter Jordan, Jaume Vidal, LoAnn Halden and Rika Jean-François will answer questions from the audience about which factors are important for destinations like Malta in order to successfully conquer the LGBT tourism market.

The second part of the conference will deal mainly with marketing aspects. Among the speakers will be Rika Jean-François and Thomas Bömkes, the two representatives responsible for the LGBT Travel segment at ITB Berlin, who will talk about the importance of the segment’s presence at the travel trade show.

 Matt Skallerud of Pink Banana Media, New York, will have information and valuable tips for marketing LGBT travel online in 2019. Two other examples of best practices will highlight successful hotel and event marketing business models.

 Philip Ibrahim of Accor Germany, will talk about the Pink Pillow marketing initiative of Visit Berlin, and Frédérick Boutry of Visit Brussels will underline how important culture, sport and party events are for the LGBT segment.

 Taking Malta as an example, the conference will conclude with Philip Ibrahim, Frédérick Boutry and Rika Jean-François discussing which criteria play an important role for LGBT+ customers’ travel choices.

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