Press Release WTM 2019


London, November 2019 – Milan is getting ready to host the 37th IGLTA Global Convention (International LGBTQ+ Travel Association) for LGBTQ+ tourism, which returns to Europe after 5 years. It will take place May 6-9 2020 and will bring together international tour operators, hotels, travel agents, journalists and influencers. The Convention includes training sessions, networking, a B2B marketplace and charity events. A special opportunity — meaning that “Milan belongs to everyone” — it is completely inclusive and also showcases Italy as a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travellers.

The collaboration between the public and private sector’,  Roberta Guaineri, Milan Municipality Coucilor for Tourism says, ‘is extremely important to promote hospitality without harassment. Tourism has so many declinations: family tourism, sport tourism, health, religious tourism, just to name a few. They are not differentiating categories, nay they give different responses to different needs. We are committed to make Milan a wholly welcoming city, being able to meet every traveller’s request. The IGLTA Convention is a fundamental step in that direction”.

 “This is a high-spending target’, – Alessio Virgili, IGLTA Italian Ambassador, President & Founder of AITGL and President of the promoting committee for IGLTA 2020 says2.7 billion Euros are generated by LGBTQ+ travellers in Italy and US$65 billion in the US. Italy could no longer afford to miss the opportunity to be part of this tourism segment. For this reason, I am proud to have obtained, after years, the candidacy of an Italian city to host the IGLTA convention.  I have to thank the support of important partners such as the Municipality of Milan, ENIT, the US Consulate in Milan, Fiera Milano and the UNA Hotels Group.  I am also excited to announce that today the latter has joined AITGL – Italian LGBTQ+ Tourism Association as a member; this too is a source of pride for having managed to have the most important Italian hotel group to be part of our family. The forecast for May 2020 is that Milan will host the largest IGLTA Convention held outside of the United States. The economic impact it may generate represents a catalyst for the touristic growth of Milan and of Italy, with the potential to produce up to US$2 million in ancillary income for the city in a four-day convention.

“Enit’s strategic plan includes training and education for all territories, in order to forge hospitality with targeted services for each specific travel demand. Local institutions are ready and active to potentiate gay-friendly tour destinations with a new sense of hospitality and proposition, in order to attract investments and big events. The LGBTQ+ target helps differentiate and deseasonalize the market and to tackle overtourism. LGBTQ+ tourism is growing and it is definitely acknowedged as a major vehicle of economic development. LGBTQ+ tourists are more than 35 million, UNWTO states. They travel more frequently and can spend more than the average. It has been calculated that the world expense generated by this market is beyond US$ 211 billion per year”, Giorgio Palmucci, Enit President says.

“We are pleased to be part of AITGL – Italian LGBTQ+ Tourism Association, an association with which we share the fundamental value of hospitality and the will to create virtuous synergies to promote Italy as tourist destination. As a first step in our collaboration, next year UNAHOTELS Expo Fiera Milano, one of our leading property for the meeting industry, will host the 37th IGLTA World Convention. Hosting the important event that in 2020 will turn the world spotlight on the city of Milan, has a particular meaning in relation to this initiative aimed at promoting the warm hospitality of our country towards all types of Italian and international travelers. This mission is especially summarized in our payoff “Italian hospitality is UNA”, Daniele Mereu, Head of Hotels at Gruppo UNA says.

“Italy has long been a top destination for tourism, but the LGBTQ+ community in Italy is more visible and active then ever before, and there is great potential for growth in the LGBTQ+ tourism sector. We look forward to bringing our global tourism business convention to Milan for the first time in May 2020 and providing education and networking that will help Italy to better connect with LGBTQ+ travelers”, John Tanzella, President/CEO IGLTA says.

We are working on a new destination management plan for LGBTQ+ tourism, the first for Italy, in order to target this market. It is based on three cornerstones: the creation of a dedicated tour offer, training for tour operators on gay marketing and diversity management, and finally the realization of a digital B2C platform, combining the LGBTQ+ targeted offer with the implementation of a digital communication strategy”, Andrea Cosimi, COO Sonders and Beach Italia, says.

Further Info:

PR & Press Office

Milan Municipality:


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