The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) announced today that it’s planning to bring the 37th edition of its global convention to the W Atlanta-Midtown, 8-11 September 2021. This marks the first time the organization’s premier educational and networking event will be held in Georgia’s capital city and its first appearance at a W Hotel property.
The shift away from its traditional April/May dates came as IGLTA re-evaluated its convention during this pandemic down time.
“We are looking forward to resuming our convention and creating key networking opportunities for our global community of LGBTQ+ welcoming tourism businesses,” says IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “We will be closely monitoring travel and business guidelines to ensure a safe return, and moving the event to September gives us more time to prepare.
“With the recommendation of our board and in response to requests from our membership, we plan to keep the IGLTA Global Convention in the late third or early fourth quarter moving forward. The change of season will create fewer conflicts with other industry events.”
IGLTA’s appointment-driven Buyer/Supplier Marketplace will be held on day one, setting the stage for four days of business. The opening night reception will be held in the stunning, interactive Georgia Aquarium, which is sponsoring the event. Voyage, the annual IGLTA Foundation fundraiser held during the convention, will take the travel theme to the next level with a setting under the wings of a 747 in Delta Flight Museum, courtesy of Delta Air Lines and the ATL Airport District CVB.
“On behalf of Atlanta’s entire hospitality community, we are thrilled to host the 2021 IGLTA Global Convention and welcome attendees from across the globe,” said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Despite the difficult season our industry is currently navigating, travel is resilient and we look forward to showcasing what makes Atlanta a fantastic destination for LGBTQ+ travelers.”
A standout for diversity in the region, Atlanta hosts the largest LGBTQ+ Pride event in the Southeastern United States, as well as numerous other well-attended LGBTQ+ events, such as Out on Film, Black Gay Pride and the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival. The Midtown neighborhood, where the host hotel is located, contains the city’s largest concentration of LGBTQ+ businesses.
“We are honored to be the first W Hotel to host an IGLTA convention. It’s an event that aligns with our brand’s long history of LGBTQ+ inclusion,” says Fabrizio Calvo Poli, General Manager, W Atlanta-Midtown. “We look forward to welcoming tourism professionals from around the world to our property, which is located in the heart of Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ district and showcases the city’s diversity.”
The convention will benefit from the support of three long-time IGLTA partners: Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau has been an IGLTA Global Partner since 2013, Delta Air Lines, headquartered in Atlanta, has been an IGLTA Global Partner since 2006, and Marriott International, parent of W Hotels, has been an IGLTA Global Partner since 2015.