In conjunction with the leading International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and following its first report in 2012, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has published a second report on the role of the increasingly important LGBT travel market. As the World’s Largest Travel Trade Fair and as part of its strategy to promote social responsibility, ITB Berlin is committed to firmly establishing the LGBT segment while also dispelling preconceptions. According to the report, in recent years the LGBT travel market has experienced a general upturn. Nevertheless, in some 70 countries around the world the legal situation of gays and lesbians remains very precarious, and a lot still needs to be done in terms of education.
As well as ITB Berlin, which demonstrates its support through seminars, a dedicated show segment and a consistently clear message to the travel industry, the report lists numerous other positive examples of companies who are actively showing their support. According to the tour operator Virgin Holidays, around two-thirds of the LGBT community are worried about their safety and discrimination when travelling. That is why the company urges its business partners to adopt an open-minded and egalitarian approach in dealing with LGBT travellers. The UNWTO Report also stresses the important role played by the UN, which under the leadership of its former general secretary Ban Ki-moon remains strongly committed to tolerance and diversity. Not only has the United Nations made practical progress itself, it also actively supports other countries in their bid to create a more open society. In the report’s introduction, the current UNWTO general secretary Taleb Rifai takes a clear stand, urging an open-minded travel industry.
Marketing should focus on LGBT travel