The Spanish city of Madrid was chosen to host the world convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), to be held in 2014, reports EFE. Last year’s event, IGLTA 2013, was held in Chicago, USA.
Earlier in the year, Madrid was also selected to host the 2017 Gay Pride event.
IGLTA represents more than 2,500 full members of travel businesses around the globe, while it links more than 5,000 companies and associated institutions in 160 countries. It is the only gay organization in the world that belongs to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
As it is reported by various sources, the Spanish capital was chosen for its open and inclusive attitude towards minorities and particularly the gay community. The city managed to defeat Stockholm, Zurich and Cannes, among others, which were powerful candidates and strong competitors for hosting the meeting.
The unreserved support and the official endorsement of the event, expressed in various occasions by the City of Madrid, and the tourist attractions of the metropolis were essential for the final choice of the location.
During the event there will be selective visits to other cities, as well as to locations in the wider area of Madrid.
The delegate of Economy, Employment and Citizen Participation in Madrid, Miguel Ángel Villanueva, appeared to be fully satisfied by the decision of the selection committee. The convention is the first of its kind to be held in Spain.
“The meeting will contribute to the consolidation of Madrid among the top destinations in the world for the LGBT segment,” explained Villanueva.
Madrid’s candidacy had received the support, collaboration and endorsement of gay rights activists, NGOs, chambers of commerce, businesses, business schools and private companies.
Madrid is a reference destination for LGBT groups in the world. The city even has a gay district, Chueca, which is one of the main tourist locations for LGBT travel. The city council never neglects to highlight its hotel offering, its cultural attractions and leisure options in addition to the quality of the cuisine.
The announcement of the selection of Madrid as the venue of the 31st World Convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association was almost certain, as rumors were circulating on the internet, while some members of the group have almost revealed their preference.
Mesquida recalled that Spain is “the single country in the world” to have six LGBT destinations: Madrid, Barcelona, Ibiza, Sitges, Gran Canaria and Torremolinos. Lesbian, gay and bisexual tourism in Spain is increasing having greater weight to the industry, since the segment represents 10 percent of the number of tourists the country receives.
Worldwide gay community fuels 15 percent of the international travel industry, while even this share has been constantly increasing during recent years as more and more destinations are emerging to welcome and accommodate LGBT visitors.
In fact, one of the subjects on the agenda this year will be the opportunities arising by the new destinations for the community in the western world.