‘Proud Experiences’ will be the world’s first dedicated LGBTQ+ travel show to support the estimated $202bn burgeoning, high growth and resilient market. Next June, Reed Exhibitions will create a community of like-minded professionals from every corner of the globe who are both pre-qualified hosted buyers and travel suppliers to do business. The event model will provide a diary of meetings pre-selected by both suppliers and buyers resulting in appointments that both have requested, leading to real business opportunities.
The 3-day international B2B event will be staged at the iconic Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London from 6-8th June 2018 and will kick off with a high-powered conference addressing the major issues affecting the sector. International speakers will be invited to take to the stage to address topics including: the economics and value of LGBTQ+ tourism, LGBTQ+ rights and the dangers of travelling to some countries; the importance of Pride and Circuit parties to the sector; the rise of the Millennial traveller, and the growth of LGBTQ+ weddings and honeymoons.
Extensive research carried out with Reed Exhibitions’ clients throughout the travel industry unanimously showed that this is an event the sector needs and wants. The LGBTQ+ sector is a major growth area for the travel industry – recently one travel start up dedicated to high-end holidays for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples reportedly turned over £1m in their first three months of business.
Proud Experiences will also support an in-depth programme of 10 ‘LGBTQ+ Master Classes’ for buyers to attend learning about good business practice, and open their minds on everything from: understanding the transgender traveller; to China as an emerging LGBTQ+ market; marketing to the LGBTQ+ customer with lessons from consumer brands; as well as best practice in servicing the LGBTQ+ client.
Emyr Thomas, from Bon Vivant commented: “Among the LGBTQ+ community, there is a discerning and savvy base with high standards, spending power and influence. As a travel advisor, guiding LGBTQ+ travellers to hotels, services and destinations that support and welcome the LGBTQ+ community is a key part of my work. A show like Proud Experiences is a welcome addition and I look forward to the opportunity to network, share knowledge and learn more about the work the travel industry is doing to explore the potential in the LGBTQ+ community.”
International travel brands already committed to taking part include: Intercontinental Hotel Group, Peninsula Hotels, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, The Curtain, Corinthia Hotels, Principal Hotels, Grand Hotel Lake Tremezzo and Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Carsten Christensen from Small Luxury Hotels of the World has said: “On a global scale, LGBTQ+ travellers are using dedicated platforms as a resource to find businesses that welcome them into the world of travel. To make it easy for them to find us we are joining Proud Experiences to be part of a global LGBTQ+ friendly tourism community that includes major corporations, as well as many local businesses and organizations.”
Reed Exhibitions Event Manager, Gareth Baguley commented on the launch of Proud Experiences: “The LGBTQ+ community are fighting for something non LGBTQ+ travellers have always taken for granted – the ability for an individual to choose where they feel like they really belong and safely. This unique event will bring together world leaders from travel and lifestyle sectors to throw light on all the opportunities, conversations, debates and provide a real platform to develop business together with creative ideas to better serve and target this fast growing market, and we are excited to launch the event in London next June.”