ITB Berlin as a trade fair has been a pioneer in giving visibility to the LGBT travel segment. Year after year, the number of exhibitors has been on the increase. This year, the LGBT Travel pavilion (Hall 21.b) will be the world’s biggest display of holiday products and services dedicated to this growing travel segment.
While LGBT rights are a social issue – which includes also the right to travel and being recognised as a travel segment with specific needs – there is also an economic dimension when catering for LGBT travel. In various studies, it is assumed that 3% to 7% of the world’s population identify themselves as part of the LGBT community. If applying this ratio to the total world travelling population, it would mean between 40 to 93 million travellers.
The 2018 ITB Berlin edition will see the launch of the LGBT + Pioneer Award as well as a range of new exhibitors. Taking part for the rst time this year are destinations such as Thailand, New York State, Bilbao Tourism, Costa Rica, Colombia but also the Christopher Street Day Berlin event. Numerous exhibitors have announced their return, among them Aspen/Snowmass, the region of Valencia, Fort Lauderdale, Enjoy Illinois, Ontario Tourism, Argentina, as well as numerous partners from Japan, including the Granvia Hotel in Kyoto, Ella Travel, TomOnTour and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).
This year’s official ‘Presenting Partner’ is the Tourism Authority of Thailand. New York State, Enjoy Illinois and Choose Chicago are also partners of the LGBT segment while numerous exhibitors have announced their return such as Valencia, Fort Lauderdale, Argentina, Ontario, Vienna and Japan. “LBGT travel is now booming in many countries. This has opened up new markets and created new travel experiences such as honeymoon tourism or rainbow family cruises,” states Rika Jean-François, CSR Of cer ITB Berlin.