Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) will be the hot topic for World Travel Market Africa in June as it joins the LGBTQ+ community in celebrating Pride Month.
Following on from the success of EQUAL Africa, held in partnership with the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) during Africa Travel Week in April, WTM Africa will be shining a spotlight on LGBTQ+ tourism during June, with a range of Travel With Me profiles, an Industry Insight from IGLTA and expert advice on how the travel and tourism community can benefit through supporting LGBTQ+ travellers.
“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are a critical part of our sustainability as the tourism sector in Africa. We see our role at Africa Travel Week as sharing why it is important for our industry to foster equitable travel for all,” explained Martin Hiller, Reed Exhibitions Africa Creative & Content Director: Travel, Tourism & Creative Industries.
“Our goal is to provide a pivotal platform for the continent’s travel and tourism industry, inspiring, educating and rebuilding the travel and tourism industry through knowledge sharing and community building. With pink travel on the rise globally, we need to be talking about facilitating safe, comfortable travel for LGBTQ+ travellers to Africa’s wonderful destinations,” added Hiller.
"Our partnership with Africa Travel Week and the opportunity to curate LGBTQ+ travel content under the EQUAL Africa banner gives us 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," highlighted IGLTA President and CEO, John Tanzella.
The opportunity for Africa was undeniable, he said. According to the IGLTA, LGBTQ+ travellers are among the most “resilient and loyal” segment of tourists, travelling more frequently than non-LGBTQ+ travellers.
A study by the IGLTA Foundation found that this sector’s enthusiasm for travel had not waned with the pandemic, with 73% of respondents saying they planned to take their next major holiday before the end of 2021.
“In this pandemic world, we look to resilient and adventurous travellers to blaze a trail and we know that our LGBTQ+ travellers are early adopters. As tourism destinations and products, we can benefit from the insights our industry experts in the LGBTQ+ space are sharing and be the catalysts for shaping the future of LGBTQ+ travel in Africa and the rest of the world,” Hiller concluded.