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ITB Convention
LGBTQ+ Tourism Panel at the ITB Convention


Since back in the late 90’s, LGBTQ+ Tourism was already present at ITB Berlin but scattered, not united. Due to the popularity and ITB’s CSR commitment, which explicatively includes diversity, equity and inclusion as key policy, the LGBTQ+ Tourism segment was established in 2010 as an official, equal segment of ITB Berlin. Characterized by openness, creativity and vibrant interaction, this segment is one of the most diverse areas of the trade show. Over the years, it became the biggest LGBTQ+ Tourism presence in any global tourism trade show.

Each year, ITB Berlin, in cooperation with its partner agency Diversity Tourism GmbH, is hosting the well-established LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion with its exhibitor booths, café and various events, receptions and networking opportunities.

The LGBTQ+ Tourism Educational HUB at the pavilion stage with presentations, panel discussions and expert interviews will also be part of the pavilion again, making the segment area one of the most attractive and important meeting points of the global LGBTQ+ tourism community.

The renown LGBTQ+ Media Brunch in the Pavilion - is home for all accredited media interested in LGBTQ+ Tourism. Members of the media will be able to get together in an informal atmosphere with representatives of destinations and other tourism providers.

At ITB Berlin 2024, Comunitat Valenciana in Spain, as host city of the Gay Games 2026, and Vacaya, the American LGBTQ+ cruise and resort specialist, are the supporting partners of the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion. In addition to returning partners such as IGLTA, Munich Tourism, GNetwork from Argentina, TomOnTour, new exhibitors such as Choose Chicago and the LGBTQ+ Wedding Conference are also represented in the pavilion. The Brazilian Tourist Board EMBRATUR and Barcelona Tourism are represented as partners at the LGBTQ+ Educational Hub.

Diverse side events and parties complete the offerings for the Global LGBTQ+ Tourism Community at ITB Berlin:

As part of the ITB Berlin Convention, the LGBTQ+ panel discussion “Resilience in LGBTQ+ Tourism - Changing Challenges in Changing Times” will also take place on ITB Tuesday at 12:15 pm on the Green Stage in Hall 3.1.

The successfully established LGBTQ+ Business Summit will take place again in the LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion in Hall 4.1 on ITB-Thursday.

The summit starts with a Networking Coffee in the morning and is followed by a presentation of Accenture with up-to-date information of corporate behavior and economical aspects about the LGBTQ+ community. After a panel discussion and best practice presentations, there will be two break out sessions and another panel discussion, following after a light networking lunch snack.

On Thursday evening, all ITB participants and guests are invited to the second edition of the ITB Diversity Gala at the Ritz Carlton Berlin, after a fabulous debut last year. The renowned ITB LGBTQ+ Pioneer Award, which has been awarded since 2018, will be presented here again and, for the first time, the ITB LGBTQ+ Destination Award 2024 will be presented for outstanding achievements and inclusiveness in international LGBTQ+ tourism. All guests have the opportunity to support again the IGLTA Foundation with a silent auction to get attractive travel packages, sponsored by different IGLTA members. The gala dinner is followed by an after gala party on the ballroom floor. The ITB Diversity Gala is supported by Marriott, Experience Kissimmee, New York State, Visit Brussels, TOMONTOUR, ITB Berlin and the IGLTA Foundation. The gala dinner and also the after gala party only is open to all ITB attendees and other interested parties.

Tickets for the gala dinner and the after gala party are available here

LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion Program

You will find all dates and events of the LGBTQ+ Tourism program as download file here:

LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion Program (PDF, 1.2 MB)

LGBTQ+ Educational
LGBTQ+ Edcuational Session
LGBTQ Pavillon
LGBTQ+ Tourism Pavilion
ITB LGBTQ+ Pioneer Award 2023: Couple of Men
ITB LGBTQ+ Pioneer Award 2023: Couple of Men


In the context of its social responsibilities ITB Berlin considers itself to be an ambassador for human rights and tolerance. Thus, ITB’s commitment to LGBTQ+ travel extends far beyond the trade show itself.

  • Messe Berlin has signed the German Diversity Charter, thus pledging to actively support diversity within companies. The principles of the charter aim to ensure a working environment free of prejudices; every employee should be respected regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic background, faith, ideology, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, or identity.
  • In the ITB Academy framework and in cooperation with ITB LGBTQ+ partner Diversity Tourism GmbH, ITB organizes physical or online seminars, workshops, and lectures on LGBTQ+ tourism worldwide. Before the Corona pandemic, 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.

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Attractive prices can be purchased by silent auction for a charity cause.

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ITB’s reward for promoting awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in the global tourism industry:

At its Annual Global Convention, which took place from 24 - 27 April 2019 at the Hilton Midtown New York City, the International Gay&Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) honored ITB’s representatives with the renown 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 LGBTQ+ travel“, said Rika Jean-François, former Head of CSR at ITB Berlin. ”What started with a few community pioneers exhibiting here and there around ITB Berlin has over the years become an internationally recognized and important platform. Together with our LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ Travel Pavilions possible, with exhibitors and trade visitors from around the world taking part in valuable discussions “, says Thomas Bömkes, Managing Director of Diversity Tourism GmbH. Rika Jean-François added: ”This award will give us the strength to continue defending LGBTQ+ travelers against discrimination in every destination of 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.”


On request, the ITB Academy organizes LGBTQ+ workshops for destinations and their touristic suppliers, informing about the global Gay&Lesbian travel segment, its special marketing requirements as well as market developments.

For that purpose, ITB Berlin works closely with Community marketing LGBTQ, Inc. from San Francisco as its research partner. This renown research company is specializing in LGBTQ+ marketing research.


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


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


Rika Jean-Francois

Ramona Zaun
Messe Berlin GmbH

T: +49 30 / 3038-2155

Thomas Bömkes
Diversity Tourism GmbH

P: +49 89 / 62439772

Thomas Bömkes


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