Milan has promised to promote “hospitality without harassment” as it gears up to host the 37th IGLTA Global Convention in 2020.
The convention for LGBTQ+ tourism will return across May 6-9 2020, bringing together international tour operators, hotels, travel agents, journalists and influencers through training sessions and networking.
Speaking at a press conference at WTM, Roberta Guaineri, Milan municipality councillor for tourism, said hosting the convention was a “fundamental step” for the city.
“The collaboration between the public and private sector is extremely important to promote hospitality without harassment,” she said.
“We are committed to making Milan a wholly welcoming city and being able to meet every traveller’s request. The IGLTA Convention is a fundamental step in that direction.”
President of ENIT (the Italian Government Tourist Board) Giorgio Palmucci added that local institutions were “ready and active to potentiate gay-friendly tour destinations with a new sense of hospitality and proposition.”
Next year’s event is expected to be the largest IGLTA Convention held outside of the United States.
It will be the first time it has been held in Italy and marks the convention’s return to Europe after five years.
“IGLTA has been around for 35 years and we’ve never had a convention in Italy so it’s high time we do,” said IGLTA president and chief executive John Tanzella.
“Italy has long been a top destination for tourism, but the LGBTQ+ community in Italy is more visible and active than ever before, and there is great potential for growth in the LGBTQ+ tourism sector.”
IGLTA Italian ambassador Alessio Virgili agreed that hosting the convention was no longer an opportunity the city could “afford” to pass up.
“This is a high-spending target,” he said.
“€2.7 billion are generated by LGBTQ+ travellers in Italy and $65 billion in the US. Italy could no longer afford to miss the opportunity to be part of this tourism segment.”