Destinations join for an event benefiting the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation
Destination DC (DDC), NYC & Company and San Francisco Travel partnered on their first ever official LGBTQ event during U.S. Travel Association’s IPW on Monday, June 5 at Town Danceboutique to celebrate the LGBTQ travel community and bring awareness to the importance of welcoming all visitors to the U.S. IPW, the largest generator of travel to the U.S., is underway in Washington, DC for the first time through June 7, 2017.
The three cities each have a rich history of activism and large LGBTQ populations. Monday’s event, held at the largest gay dance club in DC, raised over $25,000 for the IGLTA Foundation, which supports global LGBTQ tourism through education, research and leadership development.
“We’re proud to join together to support the LGBTQ community as we all recognize the importance of leading by example for freedom and equality,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO, Destination DC. “As some of the top destinations for LGBTQ travel, Washington, DC, New York City and San Francisco are uniting in celebration of the LGBTQ community during IPW to remind travelers that we welcome people of all backgrounds in our respective destinations.”
“Our partnership in this event illustrates that openness to all visitors extends coast to coast in the U.S. As a longtime global LGBTQ destination, San Francisco is excited to join with Washington, DC and New York City in celebrating pride and encouraging everyone to experience our diverse and welcoming cities,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel.
“We are pleased to join together with Destination DC and San Francisco Travel on this worthwhile partnership to celebrate our collective pride and encourage more LGBTQ visitation to our respective cities. There’s never been a better moment in time to unite around such an important and productive initiative,” said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company’s president and CEO.
“The IGLTA Foundation appreciates the tremendous support of Destination DC, NYC & Company, and San Francisco Travel, industry leaders in raising awareness of LGBTQ tourism and its impact on the global economy,” said Gary Murakami of MGM Resorts International, IGLTA Foundation board chair. “Only through our partners can we develop future leaders, pursue global research, and provide educational opportunities to move LGBTQ tourism forward.”
Following IPW, pride celebrations take place in each destination. Capital Pride in DC is June 8-11 and is expected to draw more than 250,000 people. The theme of the 42nd festival is “Unapologetically Proud!” The street festival (June 11) coincides with the Equality March for Unity and Pride on the National Mall. San Francisco Pride, an annual event since 1972, will be June 24-25. The theme is “A Celebration of Diversity.” In New York City, the theme for this year’s pride celebration is “We are Proud” from June 16-25 with 10 days of activism and celebration.
“IPW is hugely important to give international visitors a new perspective of Washington, DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO of DDC. “Our message to the international community is that they are welcome here and we appreciate their business. We’re thrilled to show off the unexpected sides of the nation’s capital during IPW.”
For more information about IPW in Washington, DC, visit washington.org/IPW2017.
The event is sponsored by Destination DC, NYC & Company, Visit San Francisco, Big Bus Tours, United Airlines, Washington Dulles International Airport and Marriott, with special thanks to Town Danceboutique.
About DDC: DDC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 930 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org.
About IGLTA & the IGLTA Foundation
The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is the leading member-based global organization dedicated to LGBTQ tourism and a proud Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ travelers and expand LGBT tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact. The philanthropic IGLTA Foundation was launched to support the mission of the association and its membership through education, research and leadership development. For more information, please visit iglta.org or iglta.org/foundation and follow us on social media @IGLTA or the IGLTA Foundation Facebook page.