Norwalk, Conn. — Reed Exhibitions announced it will launch an LGBTQ+ event in London next June. Called “Proud Experiences,” it will be a hosted-buyer event for the LGBTQ+ community presented at Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, June 6-8.
The three-day B2B event offers both pre-qualified suppliers and buyers to pre-selected meetings and set appointments with participants. It will kick off with a conference that will focus on issues surrounding this travel sector, including the economics and value of LGBTQ+ tourism, rights, and dangers of traveling to some destinations, and the growth potential for LGBTQ+ weddings and honeymoons.
As an inaugural event, Proud Experiences also will offer a program called “Master Classes” that will strive to educate participants about good business practices for this sector, advice about understanding the transgender traveler, and tips about marketing to this group. Other conference sessions will focus on safety and security and transgender travel.
In announcing the event, Reed Exhibitions Event Manager Gareth Baguley noted that it is likely to bring together professionals from all travel and meetings sectors to understand the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and explore future opportunities.
LGBT travel has been growing in recent years, according to the LGBT Tourism Survey by Community Marketing Inc. of San Francisco. Its 2016 survey of 4,700 people (U.S. and Canada) indicated that leisure travel among this sector was up 2% in 2016 and that 16% of these travelers married within the past year.
Globally, OutNow Global of London last year placed the overall value of LGBTQ travel at $211 billion. Johnson called the market “one of the healthy growth opportunities for a growing number of travel industry partners.”