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Travel Trade Gazette LGBT Conference: List of speakers revealed

Travel Trade Gazette LGBT Conference: List of speakers revealed

How is LGBTI travel changing in 2017?

Next month sees the return of the TTG LGBT Conference in London, designed to educate and inform those wanting to market and sell to the LGBTI tourism sector.

What’s more, this will be followed by the first-ever Travel Pride party that evening. Both events take place on Monday 3 July at Kensington Roof Gardens in London.

Here, we give you a quick rundown on what to expect from a full day of all things LGBTI travel…

TTG LGBT Conference: What to expect

Now in its third year, the one-day conference takes place from 8.45am to 5pm. It features a range of speakers, including Lord Michael Cashman, TTG Media editor Sophie Griffiths and GSN editor Tris Reid-Smith.

There will also be a range of panelist talks. These will feature the likes of Jo Rzymowska, managing director, Celebrity Cruises, UK, Ireland & Apac; Chris Lee, head of marketing UK and Ireland, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Anthony Reilly, sales and marketing director at Hoseasons.

For the full schedule, scroll below.

Travel Pride: What to expect

This will then be followed by Travel Pride, a celebration of LGBTI people and tourism. It will take place from 7pm until late, with canapes, cocktails and entertainment.

Also, 5% of all the ticket prices for Travel Pride will be donated to the charity Opening Doors London (ODL), providing support and information for older LGBTIs.

The night will also feature a musical cabaret show hosted by cabaret Paul L Martin [pictured below]. Paul is a regular host at London’s Cafe de Paris and The Hippodrome.

#ukulele #UFoS #ukulelefestivalofscotland #masterofceremonies #emcee #ringmaster #compere #host

A post shared by Paul L Martin (@paullmartinlooks) on

Commenting on the launch of Travel Pride, Sophie Griffiths said: ‘TTG LGBT has grown from strength-to-strength since its inception in 2015, and its evening networking events have become must-attends for people throughout the industry

‘We wanted to celebrate the embracing of diversity and inclusion in the industry, and Travel Pride is designed to be just that – a fun celebration where LGBT people and allies can party the night away with cocktails, canapes and brilliant entertainment.’

Two fans of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Pride Toronto #PrideTO #pride2016

A post shared by Gay Star Travel (@gaystartravel) on

TTG LGBT Conference: The full rundown


08:45: Registration networking and breakfast

09:15-09:30: Opening address
 from Sophie Griffiths, editor TTG Media

09:30 – 10:00: ‘Inclusion Matters – the steps to getting it right and how it can pave the way to business growth’

Liz Grant, OBE, director, Fantail Business Development

Talking points will include:
Why you must look inward before you can look outward
Embracing diversity in the workplace
Ensuring your employees are happy before targeting the LGBT consumer

10:05-10:25: ‘Case study: Coming out of the corporate closet’

Grant van Ulbrich, director of diversity and inclusion, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd

Talking points will include:
Becoming a leading force in the cruise industry for diversity
The positive impact – and the business case – for letting employees be who they are
The challenges and successes of embracing diversity and inclusion within a large company

10:30-10:50: ‘Out and proud – the businesses getting it right’

Liz Grant, OBE, director, Fantail Business Development talks to 

Jo Rzymowska, managing director, Celebrity Cruises, UK, Ireland & Apac; 
Simon Altham, managing director revenue, Wyndham Vacations
 and Amy Stanning, shared services director, Barclays.

10:50-11:05: Morning break


11:05-11:25: ‘The world for the LGBT traveller in 2017’

Tris Reid-Smith, director and editor-in-chief, Gay Star News

Talking points will include:
Brexit, Trump, and the rise in nationalism – the challenges facing LGBT travellers
How these changes influence LGBT travellers’ decisions
How to engage safely with local LGBT communities

11:25-11:45: ‘Who is the LGBT traveller in 2017?’

Ian Johnson, chief executive, Out Now Consulting

Talking points will include:
Results of a survey analysing LGBT consumers in June 2017
The average spend, destination choice and holiday types most popular with the LGBT community
Implications that can make your LGBT marketing strategies more effective

11:50-12:15: ‘Case study: Booking my own LGBT wedding and honeymoon abroad was frustrating. So I launched my own LGBT travel brand’

Mark Swords, founder,

Talking points will include:
The personal challenges Mark faced booking his wedding/honeymoon abroad (post same sex marriage legalisation)
The journey of launching the business and key learnings of the past 12 months
Plans for the future of

12:20-12:45: ‘Combining an LGBT-friendly company with less LGBT-friendly destinations’

Pauline Wilson, operations director, Virgin Holidays

Talking points will include:
‘Getting Virgin Holidays’ house in order’
Influencing partners in one of the most conservative regions of the world
The business case of marketing to the LGBT community

12:50-13:15: ‘Destinations under the spotlight’

Talking points will include:
Dan Pearce, managing director, TTG Media talks to 

Chris Lee, head of marketing UK and Ireland, Tourism Authority of Thailand, 
Sharon Bershadsky, director, Israel Ministry of Tourism Office, UK
 and Trudi Pearce, director of responsible tourism, The Brighter Group (representing the Belize Tourism Board)

How these destinations are targeting the LGBT community
Challenges they have faced along the way
Proving the business case – the results of their marketing campaigns

13:15-15:15: Lunch and marketplace


15:20-15:45: ‘Making diversity the new normal’

Anthony Reilly, sales and marketing director Hoseasons

Talking points will include:
Ripping up the rule book and embedding diversity into everyday life
The business case of marketing to reflect a modern Britain
The impact on staff – how employees responded to the change

15:50-16:20: ‘Learning from others’

Ian Johnson, chief executive, Out Now Consulting talks to 

Andrew Sanderson, customer marketing manager, Thomas Cook Airlines and 
Anthony Reilly, sales and marketing director, Hoseasons.

16:25-17:25: Keynote speaker and Q&A

Lord Michael Cashman

Talking points will include:
The first gay kiss on national TV (and the shocking headlines and controversy that it sparked
Moving into politics and raising awareness of LGBT and human rights
The world in 2017 – the challenges still facing the LGBT community today

17:20-17:30: Conference close

Speech from Sophie Griffiths, editor of TTG Media

For more information about the TTG LGBT conference and Travel Pride and to purchase tickets, click here.