Recife bidding to host the IGLTA Annual Convention 2016

  • Published by Vedat
The Recife Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pernambuco Tourism Board (Empetur), Recife City Hall and the Brazilian Association for Gays, Lesbians and Sympathizers (ABRAT GLS) presented Recife’s candidature to host the Annual Global Convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) in 2016.

To formalize the bid, Recife CVB produced a bidding book, which was sent to IGLTA this week. A Host Committee with representatives of various institutions linked to the tourism trade negotiated concessions and planned a schedule for the event. The official hotel will be the Golden Tulip Recife Palace.

While there are three more cities bidding to host the event, only two of them will have the chance of personally presenting their proposal in Madrid this October. For three years, Recife CVB and Empetur have been developing the idea of hosting the Convention, including promoting the city during the event in Florianópolis last year and again in Chicago this year. “This is an extremely important event, one of the best of the LGBT sector. The attendees are almost entirely from the tourism trade and will work as multipliers and opinion makers. Having them come here is strategic to boost our Gay Friendly project,” comments the executive director of Recife CVB, Maitê Uhlmann.

Empetur’s President, André Correia, is confident about the bid. “Recife has always welcomed diversity with open arms. Hospitality is the best quality of our people, according to research on LGBT tourism. We have been working hard on that,” explains Correia.

José Otávio Meira Lins, representative of ABRAT Northeast and member of the Host Committee, is also confident. “Pernambuco has fought for a long time to be the Northeast’s LGBT entrance gate. We don’t lack culture, excitement or scene. We have to show them Pernambuco has everything new and exotic that the segment looks for in a touristic destination. Ever since we created our Gay Friendly seal and started working on the segment with Empetur we have been intending to show our qualities to those who inspire and command the LGBT tourism. We are presenting them a different product that offers culture, shopping and fine cuisine and that hasn’t been fully explored by the kind of tourists who won’t stop travelling during crises and spend over 40% more than the usual visitor.”

Nowadays Recife is a highlight on the LGBT route, since Pernambuco is one of the top five gay-friendly destinations in Brazil according to the Brazilian Board of Tourism (Embratur). Working to secure this position, Recife CVB has created the advertising campaign Friendly LGBT.

Pernambuco was the first state in the Northeast and third in the country to create a guide for LGBT tourism. It is called Recife/Pernambuco – A State of Happiness, developed by Empetur, in partnership with Recife CVB, Recife City Hall, and ABRAT GLS. Created two years ago, the guide was published in Portuguese, English and Spanish and lists the main attractions in the state, from bars and restaurants to tourist spots and nightlife.

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