International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association

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The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is an international organization and a member-based global organization dedicated to LGBT tourism. In 2016, the association had a global presence with member businesses in more than 80 countries and global ambassadors in more than 22 countries.


Founded in 1983 by a dedicated group of 25 travel agents and hotel owners, IGLTA has expanded exponentially as LGBT rights and visibility have grown around the world. The original name was IGTA; the "L" was added in 1997.


The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) was the first gay organization to receive affiliate member status in the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in November 2010.[1] In November 2015 the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association became an orgisational partner with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)[2][3] In 2016 the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association was awarded the Winq Magazine Travel Award in London, UK.[4][5]

The Board of Directors includes:

  • Juan Julia, Founder and Owner of Axel Hotels.
  • Jon Muñoz, Vice President of global diversity and inclusion, Hilton.
  • Felipe Cardenas, Co-Founder & CEO of the Colombian LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.
  • Don Skeoch, Chief Marketing Officer of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
  • Dan Melesurgo, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership.
  • Earl Fowlkes, President and CEO, the Center for Black Equity (CBE).
  • Apoorva Gandhi, Vice President of Multicultural Affairs, Marriott International.
  • Richard Gray, Managing Director, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Ms. Shiho Ikeuchi, Director of Overseas Marketing, Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Japan.
  • Uwern Jong, Editor-in-Chief, OutThere Publishing.
  • Richard Kreiger, President, Pride World and The Isramworld Portfolio of Brands.
  • Steven Larkin, Director of Sales, Delta Air Lines.
  • Oriol Pamies, entrepreneur.
  • Sandi Robinson, Director of Sales, the Godfrey Hotel Chicago.
  • Maria G. Tuttocuore, Senior Executive of Sales & Marketing, Monaco Government Tourist Office.
  • John Tanzella, President and CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.


The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association's leadership includes President John Tanzella and Vice President Clark Massad. IGLTA's efforts are supported by two boards: the IGLTA Board of Directors,[6] which is the governing body for the association and oversees the organization's strategy and direction; the IGLTA Foundation Board of Directors,[7] which manages the foundation's finances and establishes official policies that govern the foundation.

Both boards operate by a standard of by laws.[8]

International Symposium and World Convention[edit]

The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) holds an annual world convention and four symposia in different tourism destinations around the world. The international symposium attracts more than 500 attendees, including destination CVB officials, travel agents, airline employees, hotel employees and tourism professionals. The foundation of IGLTA also sponsors scholarships for students to attend the international symposiums each year. Previous scholarships have been awarded to students from Brazil, Colombia, China, Curacao, Jamaica, Japan, Liberia, Norway, Peru, South Africa, Suriname, Spain and the United States.[9]

The 36th annual world convention was held in New York City in late April 2019, one month prior to the WorldPride festival being held in the city throughout June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.[10] The 37th annual world convention will be held in Milan in May 2020.

Trump Controversy[edit]

On July 5, 2015, the IGLTA sent an email to its members announcing the addition of its newest member businesses. The email included three properties branded 'TRUMP': Trump SoHo New York, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and Trump International Hotel & Tower New York.[11]

This is not the first time the IGLTA has courted controversy by including Trump-branded properties. A petition dating to 2011 encouraged the organization to "Dump Trump Properties".

On July 7, 2017 The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association gave an official statement to Windy City Times, IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella said, "IGLTA is a member-based travel association promoting LGBTQ friendly travel options. IGLTA also aims to support and educate businesses that want to better respond to the needs of LGBTQ clients. "The Trump branded properties which are current members of IGLTA (2017) are independently owned hotels and not owned by Mr. Trump." [12]

Donald Trump has spoken out against LGBT Rights and Same-Sex Marriage[13]. As President of the United States, he was the first President since George W. Bush to not acknowledge June as Pride Month.[14]

Few people have expressed concern surrounding the topic but despite the differences between the President of the United States and non-affiliated privately owned Hotel LGBTQ friendly travel accommodations. On June 20, Trump's Chicago hotel was briefly illuminated in rainbow colors, presumably in recognition of Pride celebrations the following weekend.[15] NBC 5 tweeted a photo of the display. [16]


Award recipients from each International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association's Annual convention.[17]

1994 Washington, DC, USA

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Newt Dieter
  • Kevin Mossier
  • Richard Cash
  • Walter Marlowe

1996 Sydney, NSW, Australia

  • IGLTA Hall of Fame Award
  • Marianne Ferrari
  • Rod Stringer
  • Dan Delbex

1999 Minneapolis, USA

Chair Award

  • Babs Daitch

1997 Philadelphia, PA, USA

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Herb Harris

Chair Award

  • Kevin Kailey

Chair Award

  • Richard Gray

1998 Montreal, QC, Canada

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Lynne Hocking
  • Rick Cirillo

Chair Award

  • Cynthia Marquard

2001 Munich, Germany

Chair Award

  • Rosemary Hopkins

2002 Fort Lauderdale, USA

  • IGLTA Hall of Fame Award
  • Richard Gray

Chair Award

  • Geoff Carey

2003 Manchester, UK

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • John D'Alessandro
  • Aaron Kampfe

Chair Award

  • Carl Zander

2004 Vancouver, Canada

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Kevin Kailey
  • Hanns Ebensten

Chair Award

  • Mary Clark

2006 Washington, DC, USA

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • The Original American Airlines Rainbow Team (Rick Cirillo, Mike Fricke, Robin Burr)

2008 Las Vegas, NV, USA

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Lima Tours

Chair Award

  • Alan Beck
  • Fun Maps

2009 Toronto, Canada

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Andrew Stokes

2010 Antwerp, Belgium

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Spartacus International (Berlin)

Chair Award

  • Jose Sampol- TAM Airlines VP

Community Award

  • Patrick Aertsen

Corporate Award

  • Accor Hotels

Pioneer Award

  • Madian Al Jazerah

Innovator Award

  • Shannon Wentworth -Sweet

Networking Award

  • GNetwork360

2011 Fort Lauderdale, USA

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Charley Rounds

Chair Award

  • Gina Gatta- Damron Guide

Community Award

  • Nicki Grossman

Corporate Award

Pioneer Award

  • David Ryan -RhinoAfrica Safaris/ Out2Africa

Innovator Award

Networking Award

  • ABRAT GLS (The Brazilian Association for Gay & Lesbian Tourism)

2012 Florianopolis, Brazil

IGLTA Hall of Fame Award

  • Gregg Kaminsky- R Family Vacations (NYC)

Chair Award

  • Javier Blanco- UNWTO

Community Award

  • Andre Fisher

Pioneer Award

  • Russell Lord -Kenes Tours

Travel Writer Award

  • Michael Luongo

2013 Chicago, IL, USA

The Hanns Ebensten Hall of Fame Award

  • Charles Lapointe, President/CEO of Tourisme Montreal

Chair Award

  • Thomas Roth

Community Award

  • Center on Halsted

Pioneer Award

  • Dee Farrell

Travel Writer Award

  • Manuela Kay

2014 Madrid, Spain

The Chair Award

  • Bob Witeck

Community Award

  • Alfonso Llopart Basterra

Pioneer Award

Media Honor Award

  • Merryn Johns

Ambassador Award

  • Alessio Virgilli

2015 Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Chair Award

Hanns Ebensten Hall of Fame Award

  • Feel Free Olivia, Olivia

Destination Pioneer

  • The Curacao Tourist Board

LGBT Event Pioneer

  • Doug Swallow

Community Honor

  • The Los Angeles LGBT center


  • Camarade Comerciantes LGBT de Colombia

Travel Writer

  • Jurrian Teulings

Ambassador of the Year

  • Jonathan Mountford

2016 Cape Town Africa

The Chair Award

  • Desmond Tutu

IGLTA Community Honor

  • Nondumiso "Ndumie" Funda

IGLTA Networking Honor

  • Fitur GAY (LGBT)

IGLTA Ambassador of the Year

  • Shiho Ikeuchi & Shintaro Koizumi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Global Report on LGBT Tourism
  2. ^ "PATA Signs Organisational Partnership with IGLTA - PATA". 19 November 2015.
  3. ^ "TravelDailyNews Asia & Pacific - Traveldailynews.Asia".
  4. ^ "The Travel Award 2016: International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) - winq". winq. 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  5. ^ "IGLTA Receives Travel Award from London LGBT Magazine". TravelPulse.
  6. ^ "Board of Directors - IGLTA - Gay & Lesbian Travel - LGBT". Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  7. ^ "Board of Directors - IGLTA Foundation - Gay & Lesbian Travel - LGBT".
  8. ^
  9. ^ Tore, Ozgur. "2017 Tourism Scholarships for future leaders in LGBT travel".
  10. ^ "IGLTA event to make New York debut in 2019: Travel Weekly".
  11. ^ Horbelt, Stephan (5 July 2017). "The World's Leading LGBTQ Travel Network Just Welcomed Trump Hotels to Its Ranks". Unicorn Booty. UnicornBooty. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Trump properties included on IGLTA's 'LGBTQ-friendly' list - 3035 - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News - Windy City Times". Windy City Magazine Group.
  13. ^ "Donald Trump's Big Gay Problem". Mother Jones.
  14. ^ Villarreal, Daniel (7 June 2017). "Trump Is Celebrating Pride Month by Speaking at an Anti-LGBTQ Conference". Unicorn Booty. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  15. ^ Times, Windy City. "Trump properties included on IGLTA's 'LGBTQ-friendly' list - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive - Windy City Times". Windy City Times. line feed character in |title= at position 59 (help)
  16. ^ Taylor, Jeff (23 June 2017). "A Trump hotel was lit up in rainbow colors for pride (but not for long)".
  17. ^ "Past IGLTA Awards - IGLTA - Gay & Lesbian Friendly Travel - LGBTQ Tourism".