IGLTA Foundation launches its First LGBTQ+ Travel Symposium in India


The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association Foundation is holding its first symposium to discuss expanding LGBTQ+ tourism in India this week. During the free event on 2 February, members of the IGLTA team and the association’s global network join thought leaders from India to network and conduct educational sessions in the welcoming environment of The LaLiT New Delhi, one of the newest hotel members of IGLTA.

As part of its ongoing efforts to support IGLTA’s global travel community, the IGLTA Foundation is enhancing its outreach in strategic emerging destinations. In 2020, the Foundation formed a task force of travel professionals in India and those who promote travel to its many cities and cultural sites, which led to this educational symposium.

“Through IGLTA Foundation efforts like our India Initiative, we can increase understanding of global LGBTQ+ tourism,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “We are so excited to discuss the opportunities for LGBTQ+ travel to and from India, given the huge projections for the country’s tourism growth. It is essential that this growth values all travellers and makes them feel genuinely welcome.”

Topics of the symposium include best practices for LGBTQ+ tourism and practical advice for creating more inclusive hospitality offerings. Among the speakers are IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella and VP-Communications LoAnn Halden; Keshav Suri, Executive Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group; Rudrani Chhetri, LGBTQIA+ Rights Activist and Founder, Mitr Trust;

Don Heflin, Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, U.S. Embassy; Jonathan Heimer, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy; Tom Kiely, President/CEO, Visit West HollywoodElliott Ferguson, President/CEO, Destination DCFred Dixon, President/CEO, NYC & Company; as well as representatives from Lemon Tree Hotels, Serene Journeys, and The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group.

“We are delighted to partner with IGLTA for this first-ever symposium on expanding LGBTQ+ tourism,” said Keshav Suri, Executive Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group. “It is a great opportunity to engage and explore the potential of pink tourism. As per World Bank data, the inclusion of an able and talented workforce from the LGBTQIA + community and the ‘Power of Pink Money’ can contribute up to 1.7% to the growth of Indian GDP. In order to achieve an egalitarian society, we as individuals and organizations must become the catalysts. As India spearheads the G20 forum this year, the theme is a reflection of our commitment towards inclusion for all: One Earth, One Family, One Future.”