ITB Berlin/Messe Berlin is part of a corporate network in Berlin and features prominently at the Gay/Lesbian City Festival and the Christopher Street Day in the capital.
Messe Berlin is showing its (rainbow) colours. March 2018 witnessed the launch of a new LGBT network in Berlin, to which 15 companies currently belong. As well as Messe Berlin and K.I.T. they include Bayer, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bahn, the Berlin police force and Visit Berlin. The network aims to increase awareness of corporate LGBT networks as well as acceptance of its employees.
On 21 and 22 July Messe Berlin was once again represented with its own stand at the Gay/Lesbian City Festival in the Berlin district of Schöneberg. Every year, the open-air event attracts more than 350,000 visitors from around the world. The following weekend, on 28 July at this year’s Christopher Street Day in Berlin, Messe Berlin was at the forefront of the action again with a stand on Strasse des 17. Juni at the Brandenburg Gate.
LGBT plays an important role at ITB Berlin
LGBT tourism has been represented at ITB Berlin since the Nineties and plays an increasingly important role at the show. In 2010 ITB established a Gay & Lesbian Travel segment, and the Gay & Lesbian Travel Pavilion showcases more LGBT tourism products than any other trade fair in the world. ITB recognises the commitment in this sector of destinations, tourism companies and outstanding personalities from around the world by hosting the annual LGBT Pioneer Awards, which in 2018 were presented at the show for the first time.
This year, on the Wednesday of the show, the LGBT Media Networking Brunch took place for the fifth time. Representatives from all parts of the media came together in a relaxed atmosphere to meet with destinations and suppliers of specific products in order to discuss the latest trends and LGBT topics. A further highlight was the ever-popular Gay ITB Party Night, to which TomOnTour and various partners as well as ITB Berlin had invited all exhibitors, buyers and representatives of the media. LGBT Travel has also become a firmly established topic at the ITB Berlin Convention. For members of the general public the open weekend is the time to visit ITB, when shows, presentations and gay/lesbian photo opportunities round off the wide range of tourism products from international companies catering to everyone visiting ITB.
ITB remains dedicated 365 days year
Besides offering a wide range of tourism products at ITB Berlin, LGBT Travel plays an important role elsewhere too. In October 2018 visitors to ITB Asia in Singapore can again find the Pink Corner, where co-exhibitors will be able to meet with senior buyers from Asia by pre-arranged appointment.
Outside the trade shows in Berlin and Asia, ITB campaigns continually for the rights of the LGBT community and against all forms of discrimination. This is part of its wide-ranging CSR activities, which include social and ecological responsibility, the fight against sexual exploitation of children and women in tourism as well as nature conservation and the protection of our climate and wildlife.
As part of the ITB Academy programme and in partnership with the agency Diversity Tourism GmbH, ITB organises seminars, workshops and lectures on LGBT tourism. In recent years events have been held in Poland, India, Brazil, the US, as well as in August 2017 for the first time in Japan. ITB Berlin is also a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and a supporter of the affiliated IGLTA Foundation, the philanthropic organisation of IGLTA.