Over the weekend, more than 35,000 avid travel enthusiasts attended The New York Times Travel Show in New York City, where more than 700 exhibitors from over 175 countries around the world came together to show audiences what they do best. And no one did it louder, prouder, and with more glitter than the 28 tourism brands who made up the event’s LGBTQ+ Pavilion. The group included trip-planning inspiration, experiences, tours, cruises, travel packages, hotels, travel insurance, free apps, and — for the third year in a row — Quiiky’s team of LGBTQ+ travel experts were there to invite everyone to #TravelFreely using their suite of custom tours tailored just for LGBTQ+ travelers.
The #NYTTravelShow's L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion gathers 28 tourism brands offering trip-planning inspiration,…
“The show is an excellent opportunity to connect with new travelers, and to network with other exhibitors,” says Quiiky Founder and CEO Alessio Virgil. Those other exhibitors include the likes of AIG Travel Insurance, Atlantis Cruises, IGLTA, and more businesses who recognize the need to create safe and meaningful travel experiences for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. “We plan to continue our investments in this important market, having already established a representative office in San Francisco and by augmenting our sales team with the addition of Robert Peaslee, our new U.S. Adviser to Sonders and Beach.”
During one special moment during the exhibition, Peaslee took the spotlight on the show’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Stage to share Quiiky’s purpose-driven mission. “I believe all the LGBTQ-focused companies have the goal of providing a safe and comfortable experience where travelers can be themselves and not worry about harassment or discrimination,” he explained. “In the case of Quiiky, we ensure that our local guides are all self-identified as LGBTQ+ or allies of the community, and we try to provide travelers with some unique insights into LGBTQ+ history in Italy via our tours.”
“Another factor is that if given a choice,” Peaslee continued, “LGBTQ+ travelers are happy to support a queer-owned business, and they appreciate that the business will be considering the community and its needs when developing travel products.” According to United Nations Free & Equal — the U.N.’s global campaign against homophobia and transphobia — more than a third of the world’s countries criminalize consensual, loving same-sex relationships, putting millions of people at risk of blackmail, arrest, and imprisonment. “It is critical,” Peaslee adds, “that LGBTQ+ travelers know where they can find travel guidance and products that will help them navigate in parts of the world that are still very intolerant.”
While the LGBTQ+ Pavilion may have been just a small section of The New York Times Travel Show, the message could be heard heard loud and clear: LGBTQ+ tourism is thriving.