NEW YORK -- A limited amount of exhibit space remains available for
the eighth International Gay & Lesbian World Travel Expo.
Set for April 6 at the Metropolitan Pavilion here, the free
one-day event (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) will feature local, regional and
national gay travel suppliers.
Thomas Roth of Travel Alternatives Group (TAG) said he is
expecting a turnout of as many as 2,000 visitors, comprised of
travel agents and consumers.
"Last year we had 100 exhibitors, from small, gay-friendly
bed-and-breakfast properties to tourist offices and airlines," Roth
"The number of expo visitors was 1,500. We expect to top that
He stressed that one of the main points of exhibiting at the
trade show is for suppliers to meet travel agents interested in
offering gay and lesbian destinations to their clients.
"Likewise, travel agents can expect to gain more of an insight
into the gay and lesbian market segment.
"Consumer guests also will have a learning experience by meeting
gay and gay-friendly tour operators and travel agents as well as
being able to ask questions that will educate them on making
choices about where to invest their vacation dollars," Roth
As part of Expo 2000, Roth will be the moderator of a marketing
workshop being held between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Loews
"Agents will learn from this six-member panel and be made aware
of the appropriate marketing tools to [sell travel to] their local
gay community," Roth said.
Among those expected to be on the workshop panel are Charlie
Conard, president of Our Tribe Marketing, which specializes in
direct-mail marketing; Gina Gatta of Damron, a publisher of gay and
lesbian travel guides, who will speak about the difference between
gay travel and lesbian travel, and Matt Skallerud, president of www.Gaywired.com, who will speak on how to reach
prospective gay clients via the Internet. The workshop is $15 per
person, and Roth urges attendees to preregister.
According to Roth, who is also president of San Francisco-based
Community Marketing Inc., which is the organizer of Expo 2000,
travel trade shows are the norm in "mainstream" travel marketing,
with specialty shows covering destinations such as Europe or Latin
America or options such as cruises or safaris.
"But no expo had targeted the often more-savvy gay and lesbian
traveler, a booming market segment in an otherwise flat
"The International Gay & Lesbian World Travel Expo was
designed to fill that need, and the outstanding success of our
first seven years indicates the market was waiting," he added.
The event is sponsored by TAG, American Airlines, Carnival
Cruise Line, Lufthansa, Tourism Quebec, Our World magazine, Damron,
Gaywired.com, Curve, Columbia FunMaps, Genre, QTMagazine.com,
Gaytravelnews.com and Travel Weekly.
TAG annually holds two trade shows, one in New York and the
other in San Francisco.
This year's San Francisco session will be in October. The date
was not available at press time.
For exhibit information, call (800) GAYEXPO or (415)
E-mail: [email protected]