WTM Africa 2021 – held from April 7 to 9 – will see the introduction of an LGBTQ+ travel event (called EQUAL Africa) in partnership with the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA).
EQUAL Africa stands for EQUAL Love, Rights, Experiences and Opportunities.
There will be three virtual panel discussions and presentations held on this travel segment.
Held as part of Africa Travel Week, headlined by WTM Africa and ILTM Africa, EQUAL Africa’s three content sessions will bring together industry experts and thought leaders from across the globe, sharing lessons on how to cater for the LGBTQ+ market.
These will range from pandemic recovery strategies, new LGBTQ+ offerings and how the travel and tourism community can benefit through supporting LGBTQ+ travellers and the local LGBTQ+ community, to an LGBTQ+ Travel Data forecast and actual case studies. Tourism stakeholders will learn how to avoid the mistakes of brands that have ‘superficially’ tried to break into this market.
“For our ‘EQUAL Africa in partnership with IGLTA’ programme, we are thrilled to have speakers of the calibre of Tyronne Stoudemire, Hyatt Hotels Corporation Global VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Sherwin Banda, President of African Travel, Inc.; and Tom Roth and David Paisley of Community Marketing & Insights, joining us to unpack strategies, trends and practical insights on the LGBTQ+ travel community,” said Martin Hiller, Reed Exhibitions South Africa Creative and Content Director: Travel, Tourism and Creative Industries.
“Our partnership with IGLTA is another way that WTM Africa continues to track the latest international travel and tourism industry trends,” said Hiller. “Pink travel is on the rise globally, and facilitating safe, comfortable travel for LGBTQ+ travellers to Africa’s wonderful destinations is the focus of EQUAL Africa.”
IGLTA President/CEO, John Tanzella, highlighted that this partnership had given IGLTA the opportunity to create year-round visibility and resources to support LGBTQ+ travel, and champion the need for diversity, equity and inclusion in the African tourism industry and around the world.
IGLTA works to advance LGBTQ+ travel globally by providing information and resources for LGBTQ+ travellers and demonstrating the significant social and economic impact of the sector’s tourism. IGLTA’s membership includes LGBTQ+ welcoming accommodations, destinations, travel advisers, tour operators, events and travel media in 80 countries.
ATW Virtual provides a connection for global travel professionals to collaborate and shape the recovery of the African travel industry through one-on-one meetings between exhibitors and buyers over three days to accommodate different time zones.
Attendees will also benefit from additional value-adds, such as directory listings, speed networking sessions and roundtable discussions.
“While ATW puts a firm spotlight on Africa’s tourism sector, ‘EQUAL Africa in partnership with IGLTA’ is a celebration of the significance and power of the dreams of the LGBTQ+ traveller. We can be the catalysts for shaping the future of LGBTQ+ travel in Africa and the rest of the world,” said Hiller.