The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association announced today that the newest tourism leader to receive an appointment to its board of directors is Shiho Ikeuchi, Overseas Director of Marketing for the Hotel Granvia Kyoto. Ikeuchi, who currently represents IGLTA as a volunteer brand ambassador in Japan, is the first Asia-based board member in the association’s 33-year history.
The appointment reflects the association’s increased commitment to Asian outreach, given the continent’s growth potential for both inbound and outbound LGBT tourism. In 2015, IGLTA formalized a partnership with the Pacific Asia Travel Association, participated in ITB Asia in Singapore, and conducted several LGBT workshops for tourism businesses in Japan.
Michael McDowell, Vice President, Cultural Tourism, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and Chris Stanley, Corporate and Incentive Sales Account Director, Silversea Cruises, were each reappointed for another two-year term.
The new board takes effect at the end of the board meeting prior to IGLTA’s 33nd Annual Global Convention in Cape Town, 14-16 April. In addition to these three appointees, the returning board members are: Jody Cole, founder of Wild Rainbow African Safaris; Norma Dean, Director, Specialty Sales, Delta Air Lines; Richard Gray, Managing Director for the LGBT Market, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; Rika Jean-Francois, Commissioner of Corporate Social Responsibility at ITB Berlin/LGBT segment for ITB; Tom Jenkins, Executive Director, European Tour Operators Association (ETOA); Juan Julia, founder of Axel Hotels; Dan Melesurgo, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); Jon Munoz, Senior Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Hilton Worldwide; and Ed Salvato, editor in chief of ManAboutWorld. John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO, holds a non-voting seat on the board.