The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association celebrated its 30th Annual Global Convention 2-4 May at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, uniting nearly 400 tourism leaders from 25 countries.
While the delegation majority came from the U.S. and Canada, there was a strong presence from Brazil, Japan, Argentina and the UK. In addition to extensive educational sessions and networking events, the conference served as an opportunity for the membership to meet the newly appointed IGLTA board of directors – a group that reflects the association’s global growth.
“All ten of these individuals represent a different member type, and for the very first time in IGLTA history we have a majority of board members coming from outside of North America, with three from South America and three from Europe,” said Tanya Churchmuch, Past Chair of IGLTA. “The diversity, experience and knowledge of this board will help continue to propel IGLTA as a leader not only in the LGBT travel industry, but in the overall global travel industry.”
The IGLTA Board of Directors for 2013-2014:
Chair Dan Melesurgo,Washington DC, American Society of Association Executives, VP
Vice-Chair Marta Dalla Chiesa, Florianopolis, Brazil Ecojourneys, Co-owner
Treasurer Ed Salvato, NYC, Man About World, Editor in Chief
Secretary Gail Swift, Hilton Worldwide, Director of Sales
Marcelo Costa, Buenos Aires, Delta Air Lines, Regional Manager – South America*
Pablo De Luca, Buenos Aires, Gnetwork360, Director
Jeff Guaracino, Atlantic City Alliance, Chief Strategy & Communications Officer
Rika Jean-Francois, Berlin, ITB Berlin, Commissioner of CSR
Tom Jenkins,London, European Tour Operator Association, President*
Juan Pablo Julia, Barcelona, Axel Hotels, Owner*
Tanya Churchmuch of Tourism Montreal remains on the board in an ex officio position as Past Chair.
*Indicates a first-time board member
The convention also included the unveiling of the 2015 Annual Global Convention host city: Los Angeles. IGLTA’s 10th convention took place in West Hollywood in May 1993, but this is the first time the city of Los Angeles has won the bid for the association’s premier educational and networking event.
“Los Angeles has long been a gay-welcoming and diverse city, but L.A. is also an international destination with an incrediblecultural scene to entice our global delegates,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “The entire team and our membership was elated when it was announced that L.A. would host IGLTA 2015.”
Next year’s host city is Madrid, Spain, 7-10 May, 2014.