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LGBT+ Tourism at ITB Berlin

Illinois Office of Tourism at the LGBT Media Brunch
Illinois Office of Tourism at the LGBT Media Brunch
LGBT Pioneer Award for Pablo de Luca und Gustavo Noguera, GNetwork, Argentinia
LGBT Pioneer Award für Pablo de Luca und Gustavo Noguera, GNetwork, Argentinien
Kristin Hansen
LGBT+ PIONEER AWARD 2019 for Kristin Hansen&Partner

Back to the late 90’s, LGBT+ Tourism was already present at ITB Berlin. Since 2010, Gay & Lesbian Travel has been an established, successful segment of ITB Berlin. Characterized by openness, creativity and vibrant interaction, this segment is one of the most diverse areas of the trade show. And over the years, it became the biggest LGBT+ Tourism presence in any Global tourism trade show.

Together with their LGBT Tourism Partner Diversity Tourism GmbH, ITB Berlin is hosting the LGBT+ Tourism Pavilion including the LGBT+ Tourism Educational HUB with presentations, panel discussions and expert interviews. The LGBT+ Media Brunch at the CityCube Berlin on the ITB Wednesday is home for all accredited media interested in LGBT+ Tourism. Members of the media will be able to get together in an informal atmosphere with representatives of destinations and other tourism providers. Different networking events and parties complete the offerings for the Global LGBT+ Tourism Community.

LGBT+ Tourism also always holds a slot at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention where current topics of the segments are regularly discussed by international experts. In 2018, the LGBT+ Pioneer Award was given out there for the first time. On the ITB weekend, private visitors also enjoying visitor presentations, shows and entertainment at the LGBT+ Travel Pavilion. For all networking enthusiasts, the very popular Gay ITB Party hosted by partners bringing together exhibitors, buyers and media from all-around the world is must attend event. Please contact for your personal invitation.

ITB Berlin NOW 2021, a pure digital event, will offer a virtual LGBT+ Tourism Pavilion with a networking café, a special LGBT+ Media Café and meeting corners for exhibitors, trade visitors and media. All of them will have the opportunity to join one-on-one meetings, expert interviews, presentations, panel discussions and networking sessions to get access to up-to-date information in LGBT+ Tourism.

As part of the virtual ITB Convention 2021, global LGBT+ Tourism topics will be discussed and will have a special focus on the impact of Covid 19 on LGBT+ Tourism products and services. A small edition of  the new established LGBT+ Leadership Summit with current aspects of  the situation of LGBT+ employees and their families in company brands worldwide will be also part of the ITB Convention.

The traditional GAY ITB Party by TOMONTOUR will be the final networking event as a virtual live show from the CityCube Berlin with drag entertainment, DJ sounds, raffles and a silent auction for the IGLTA Foundation. The annual ITB LGBT+ Pioneer Award 2021 will be granted during this digital event.

All Information about the LGBT+ Tourism Pavilion and its supporting program at ITB Berlin NOW will be available in the special LGBT+ Tourism Program 2021 here by the end of February.

Contact for exhibitors and trade visitors:

Rika Jean-Francois
Messe Berlin GmbH
Telephone: +49 (0)30 3038-2157

Thomas Bömkes
Diversity Tourism GmbH
+49 (0)89 62439772


ITB Berlin Commitment to LGBT+ Tourism

In the context of its social responsibilities ITB Berlin considers itself to be an ambassador for human rights and tolerance. That is why our commitment to the area of LGBT Travel extends far beyond the trade show.

  • Messe Berlin has signed the Diversity Charter, thus pledging to actively support diversity within the company. The principles of the charter aim to ensure a working environment that is free of prejudices. Every employee should be respected regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnic background, faith, ideology, disabilities, age, sexuality or identity. 
  • ITB Berlin is a member of the International Gay&Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and supports the Foundation which is the philanthropic organization of the IGLTA. ITB CSR Commissioner Rika Jean-François serves on the Association’s Board of Directors. ITB Berlin and IGLTA have signed the Code of Conduct against the sexual exploitation of children.
  • In the frame of the ITB Academy ITB, in cooperation with its partner Diversity Tourism GmbH, is organizing seminars, workshops and lectures on LGBT+ tourism worldwide. During the last years related events took place in Poland, India, Brazil, USA and in August 2017 for the first time in Japan, followed by an event in November 2018 in Malta.
ITB Berlin was honored with the Vanguard Award of the IGLTA

ITB Berlin Team honored with the prestigious IGLTA Vanguard Award

The reward for promoting awareness and acceptance of the LGBT+ Community in the global tourism industry: at the Annual Global Convention, which took place from 24 to 27 April at the Hilton Midtown New York City, the International LGBT+ Travel Association (IGLTA) presented ITB Berlin with the Vanguard Award.

”ITB Berlin is proud to occupy a pioneering role in this important subject, and to be the recipient of such a prestigious award for its continuing efforts to promote international recognition of LGBT+ travel“, said Rika Jean-François, CSR officer of ITB Berlin and responsible for this segment. ”What began as a few community pioneers exhibiting here and there around ITB Berlin has over the years become a recognized platform. Together with our partner Diversity Tourism we have created a globally unique forum.“

”We have got to the point now where at ITB Berlin we have created one of the liveliest and most diverse LGBT+ Travel Pavilions possible, with exhibitors and people taking part in discussion rounds from around the world“, says Thomas Bömkes, LGBT+ consultant for ITB Berlin and Managing Director of Diversity Tourism GmbH. Rika Jean-François added: ”This award will give us the strength to continue defending LGBT+ travelers against discrimination in every country in the world and to ensure that they, just like any other travelers, can visit places where also local people are respected regardless of their sexual orientation.”

ITB LGBT+ Academy

On request, the ITB Academy organizes LGBT workshops for destinations and their touristic suppliers with information on the global gay&lesbian travel segment, special marketing and market developments. For that purpose, ITB Berlin works very close with LGBTQ, Inc. from San Francisco, a renown research company specializing in LGBT marketing research. For additional information regarding the ITB Academy please contact

ITB LGBT+ Academy Malta 2018

The Malta Tourist Authority and ITB Berlin very successfully jointly organized the first LGBT+ Tourism Summit for tourism professionals from November 22-23 2018 in Malta. International experts informed about current market developments and new marketing strategies in this booming segment and enjoyed great networking opportunities.

Carrying the rainbow flag to Malta!
Carrying the rainbow flag to Malta!

ITB LGBT+ Academy Japan 2017

For the first time in Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, ITB Berlin has hosted an LGBT Academy with two workshops in a row on lesbian and gay travel. On 23 August 2017 the World’s leading Travel Trade Show ® has invited participants to a half-day event in Tokyo, and a day later visitors found out more about the globally expanding LGBT market in the Imperial City of Kyoto.

Important partners of the workshops include Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau,Hotel Granvia Kyoto, the Japanese publisher Ohta Publications, All Nippon Airways, Out Japan, Out Asia Travel and The Capitol Hotel Tokyu. Other sponsors include the Japan Association of Travel Agents JATA, the Japan Hotel Association Kyoto Branch and IGLTA, the world's leading global travel network dedicated to connecting and educating LGBT travelers.

Presenting Partner 2021

Presenting Partner Media Café 2021

Organizational Partner 2021