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LGBT+ engagement with a focus on North America

ITB Berlin partners with Connect Thrive Summit

ITB Berlin partners with Connect Thrive Summit

ITB Berlin recently showed its colours at an important LGBT+ event with its involvement in the Connect Thrive Summit. This event, whose focus is on the North American market, gathered leading players from the travel, sports and entertainment industries in the US, Canada and Central America and took place for the first time in early October in San Francisco, California. Representing ITB Berlin was Thomas Bömkes, founder and managing director of Diversity Tourism, who has been a consultant to the show in LGBT+ matters for many years.

Bömkes also attended the Connect Thrive Summit as a speaker and afterwards announced that the partnership would expand. The aim is for the event’s organisers to contribute to the LGBT Presentation Corner and Global LGBT Leadership Summit at ITB 2020, thus targeting partners in North America. As regards the actual event, ITB Berlin’s LGBT+ consultant was very impressed. According to the expert the panels included high-profile attendees.

Messe Berlin and ITB Berlin’s commitment to diversity is well established, and this segment has been a firm part of the show since 2010. Traditionally, its mainstays include the LGBT+ Travel Pavilion, which features the largest display of its kind at any fair worldwide, the annual LGBT+ Media Brunch, the ITB Gay Party Night and the presentation of the LGBT+ Pioneer Award for outstanding community engagement.

ITB Berlin campaigns globally for diversity and against discrimination 365 days a year. For example, it is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), the world’s leading LGBT+ travel association, and actively supports the affiliated IGLTA Foundation as a member of its board. As recently as April 2019 the IGLTA honoured ITB Berlin with the prestigious Vanguard Award for its tireless engagement in LGBT+ issues. Thomas Bömkes and Rika Jean-Francois, CSR commissioner of ITB Berlin, received the award in New York.

As part of its involvement in the LGBT+ Academy, ITB Berlin regularly organises its own events and workshops, including the LGBT+ Tourism Summit in Malta, which took place in autumn 2018. In 2017 this format had been previously held in Japan. Similar events have also taken place in Poland, India and Brazil.

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