Reed Travel Exhibitions is launching what it says is the largest international B2B event dedicated to LGBTQ+, called PROUD Experiences.
The inaugural will take place in London June 6-8 this year.
The sector is now valued over US$211 billion, according to Reed. “As the world’s biggest creator of travel industry events and exhibitions, we were not surprised when research confirmed that it’s time to pay attention to LGBTQ+ markets as they grow exponentially every year. Developing this first event which will take place in London, PROUD Experiences will bring out the issues, opportunities, solutions and debates that surrounds this demanding sector,” said show director Gareth Baguley.
Exhibitors that have signed up include AVRA Tours, Belmond, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, Corinthia London, The Curtain, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, ME by Melia, The Muse Collection, Nobu Shoreditch, One Fine Stay, Peninsula Hotels, Principal Hotels, SET Hotels, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Soneva, Visit Malta and the region of Valencia.
International buyers focused on booking travel for their LGBTQ+ clients will be attending from all over the world with agencies such as Zoom Vacations, Out of Office, Frosch, PHD Travel, Bon Vivant and Superviagem confirmed to attend.
Dealing with the attitudes, challenges, and opinions that face same sex couples and bisexual/transgender travellers will be at the heart of a Masterclass series of workshops, presentations and debates open to buyers and suppliers.
Some of themes being addressed this year include: a look at the contradiction that is the Asian LGBTQ+ market asking the question: how open for business is it – particularly now the Gay Games has been announced to be taking place in Hong Kong in 2020; the business case for Pride and the growing number of Circuit parties asking the question are they driving up the numbers LGTBQ travellers; servicing the LGTBQ customer with insights from some of the best travel brands who have excelled in this area; lessons on marketing to LGTBQ customers from brands outside of the travel industry; transgender travel and a look at the emerging markets and new travel products aimed at the sector.
London’s top venues, hotels and clubs will all contribute to the welcome for PROUD Experiences, while the area around the Saatchi Gallery known as Duke of York Square, will also join in.
Baguley added: “We hope this show will break down the barriers that sometimes make it difficult to ask those all important questions about LGBTQ+ travel. By bringing the world’s biggest tourism brands, destinations, products and services together with highly qualified buyers from the biggest source markets around the world – not only do we plan to provide an environment to do great business but to help this burgeoning industry mature even future.”
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