More details on ILTM's first show for the LGBT travel market

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Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

The company behind the ILTM portfolio of travel shows that connect luxury agents and suppliers has unveiled details of its newest event, Proud Experiences, which will be dedicated to the LGBT market.

The event was developed after research showed strong demand for a B2B event serving the $202 billion and fast-growing LGBT travel market, Reed Exhibitions said.

The LGBT community has "a discerning and savvy base with high standards, spending power and influence," said Emyr Thomas, the founder of London-based concierge service Bon Vivant.

"As a travel adviser, guiding LGBTQ+ travelers to hotels, services and destinations that support and welcome the LGBTQ+ community is a key part of my work," he said.

He said a show like Proud Experiences "is a welcome addition."

International travel brands committed to participate include Peninsula Hotels, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, the Curtain, Corinthia Hotels, Principal Hotels, Grand Hotel Lake Tremezzo, Small Luxury Hotels of the World and InterContinental Hotels Group, Reed said.

Reed, which first leaked plans for the new show at ILTM Americas in September, formally announced details of the event during World Travel Market in London.

The company said Proud Experiences will debut June 6 to 8 at the Saatchi Gallery in London. In addition to pre-scheduled one-on-one-appointments, the event will include a conference with international speakers addressing topics such as the economics and value of LGBT travel, rights and dangers for gay travelers, the importance of pride and circuit parties to the sector, the rise of the millennial traveler and the growth of LGBT weddings and honeymoons.

It will also include 10 "master classes" for buyers on topics that will include understanding the transgender traveler, China as an emerging gay travel market, marketing to an LGBT customer base and best practices.

Reed Exhibitions Event Manager Gareth Baguley said the LGBT community is fighting for something other travelers have always taken for granted: "the ability for an individual to choose where they feel like they really belong and safely.

"This unique event will bring together world leaders from travel and lifestyle sectors to throw light on all the opportunities, conversations, debates and provide a real platform to develop business together with creative ideas to better serve and target this fast-growing market," he said.

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