Last week, thousands of folks from the travel and hospitality industry descended upon Atlanta, GA for a (Covid-safe!) conference put on by the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA). The IGLTA Annual Global Convention is the world’s premier educational and networking event for LGBTQ+ tourism professionals. They had representatives from 26 countries and 400+ delegates who joined us, and they all showed up with their vaccination cards or negative COVID-19 tests!
One of the conference’s shining moments was when Sonders&Beach CEO Alessio Virgili and Caterina Orlando, the Italian National Tourism Board (ENIT)’s Manager for the US and Mexico announced that Milan will be welcoming the conference in 2022. “ENIT is proud to partner with IGLTA and bring the 2022 convention to Italy,” said Orlando. “The IGLTA convention brings together LGBTQ+ welcoming travel suppliers, buyers and media. Not only does this support business, but it also promotes diversity and equality in travel, values that ENIT fully supports. Italy is a dream destination for LGBTQ+ visitors and we look forward to sharing our unique cultural heritage, breathtaking nature, rich history, and of course, our world-famous food and drink.”
Speaking of rich history, travelers to Milan can enjoy one of many Untold History tours that provide visitors a glimpse into the LGBTQ+ history of the city that often goes unreported. The Gay-Friendly Navigli, Waterland of Fun tour, for just 148 Euros, includes a three-hour guided walking tour through the neighborhood: with amazing stories of the past times, when it was a ‘bohemian’ place for artists and for the lively night life merged into hidden houses and courtyards. Plus! Enjoy a gay friendly cruise on the canals and an aperitif in one of the gay bars here: the Bobino Bar and the Ego Cocktails.
Another Untold History option, The Opera and the Drama Queen of Milan, takes visitors inside La Scala Theatre, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Built in 1778 and since then serving as the major European site for classical music and drama, this tour dives into the history of Maria Callas ‘The Divine’, perhaps the world’s biggest drama queen history has ever known. Find out why for just 168 Euros when you book with UntoldHistoryTour.com.
“Thanks to the IGLTA convention,” Virgili says, “Our partnership with ENIT is stronger than ever. Promoting LGBTQ+ travel and hosting this event are unique opportunities for Italy and will represent learning and business opportunities for our local travel industry. The Sonders&Beach and Queervadis team looks forward to welcoming LGBTQ+ travelers from all over the world to Italy next year – and we are here for you to help make the trip unforgettable!