By Joey Amato
The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association today announced its global partnership with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the tourism marketing organization for the popular destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast. As a Global Partner, Visit St. Pete/ Clearwater strengthens its commitment to LGBTQ+-welcoming travel and IGLTA, the organizational leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel around the world.
“St. Pete/Clearwater’s partnership with IGLTA brings with it a level of global recognition in the LGBTQ+ tourism space like no other,” said David Downing, CEO & President of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. “We’re honored to work with IGLTA to continue growing as an authentically LGBTQ+-inclusive destination.”
LGBTQ+ inclusion is built into the destination’s DNA. St. Pete Pride is the largest Pride event in the state of Florida, drawing some 200,000 visitors annually, and the city is home to a year-round LGBTQ+ welcome center. In 2017, St. Pete hosted IGLTA’s 34th Annual Global Convention, attracting tourism professionals representing 36 countries—the most globally diverse convention that the association had hosted at the time. That same year, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater was honored during Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Business of Pride awards for its LGBTQ+-focused marketing efforts.
As an IGLTA Global Partner, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater will have increased engagement with the association’s global business members and its progressive offerings will receive enhanced visibility among LGBTQ+ travelers.
“One of the most exciting aspects of holding our Annual Global Convention in St. Pete was being able to share this LGBTQ+-welcoming gem with so many industry leaders from around the world who had not yet experienced its charms,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “Through this global partnership, we can continue building upon that success and showcase St. Pete/Clearwater—from its gorgeous beaches to its world-class museums—to an even wider network of global LGBTQ+ tourism professionals and travelers.”