The first day of the IGLTA convention saw over 400 participants from over 27 different countries, who were excited to hear what CEO John Tanzella had to say about the future of IGLTA and to travel during the session. opening on September 9.
Tanzella first spoke about the mutual support between IGLTA and local LGBTQ + initiatives in the Atlanta area. “We really couldn’t have organized this convention without the help of local LGBT organizations,” he said. “They really helped us open doors; they have helped us in so many ways.
Tanzella specifically recognized the Atlanta Black Pride Organization, which hosted IGLTA members at their jazz festival. “I was so happy to see so many IGLTA members this Sunday [at the Jazz Festival] to celebrate the intersectionality of our community, ”he said.
Tanzella went on to explain how IGLTA hopes to trigger travel in the wake of COVID-19. He first spoke about a guide the organization created on marriage and LGBTQ rights around the world, saying, “We have teamed up with Destination Pride in Canada to create this great graphic. [on LGBTQ+ rights] which is very easy to use and covers all countries in the world.
IGLTA will also launch a series of initiatives that include research in India to increase LGBTQ + travel and expand support for the trans community. “We are looking to market in India, but the market is fair,” said Tanzella, who went on to explain how he hopes IGLTA will further support trans travelers: “We want to ask what their unique needs are. [are] and how can we help them.
At the end of the day’s opening session, Matthew Pritchard, Southeast US Industry and Travel Manager at Google, also spoke about the future of travel, which he says will involve three things: “flexible, intentional and earning”.
On the flexibility and penalties for canceled flights, Pritchard explained, “Some people may say that consumers don’t want to pay the penalty just because they don’t want to pay the penalty. But no, it’s because travel restrictions are constantly changing, and sometimes we have to change plans.
Regarding intentionality, Pritchard noted that “consumers now have the opportunity to do more research and think about where their next trip is going to be” and that businesses should respond to this more informed consumer base.
Finally, Pritchard explained how the future of travel will be up for grabs: “In a survey we conducted, we found that one in three consumers are willing to book with a travel agency that they are not. never used before. And some people might think that’s for leisure travelers, but it’s also true for business travelers.
Pritchard concluded his segment of the event by speaking about the importance of inclusive marketing and the future of LGBTQ + travel. “It’s the right thing to do … [non-inclusive marketing] has a big impact on everyone, but certainly on young people when they see marketing that doesn’t represent them.
“Some people may not agree with this,” Pritchard continued, “But what they will agree with is that inclusive marketing is good for business. The data speaks for itself. : When you have inclusive marketing, people are more likely to buy back from you; they are more likely to recommend the brand.
So it looks like IGLTA’s future is one of expanding travel, LGBTQ + awareness campaigns and inclusive marketing campaigns in the hopes of reviving travel.