Orlando Promoted at International LGBT Travel Show

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For the first time, Orlando joins other top destinations marketing to gay and lesbian travelers through the efforts of a new Orlando LGBT Visitor’s Bureau.

Plans to bring thousands more visitors to the City Beautiful are now underway. Converge Orlando, Inc., the official LGBT convention and visitor bureau for Central Florida, is representing Orlando at the Annual Global Gay and Lesbian Travel Convention in Brazil (http://www.igltaconvention.org). The convention, hosted by the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), starts today in Florianopolis, Brazil and runs until April 14, 2012. IGLTA represents over 2,200 LGBT-friendly businesses in the hospitality industry, including airlines, cruise lines, hotels, destinations, service providers, travel agents and tour operators. Converge Orlando wants to encourage these organizations to bring more business to Central Florida.

Brazil is one of the top three international sources for travel visitors to Central Florida. Last year alone Orlando saw more than 1.2 million Brazilian visitors, according to numbers released in Visit Orlando’s recent “State of the Market Report”. Urban Brazil has one of the world’s highest proportion of LGBT residents, people with a high discretionary income to spend at US gay-friendly destinations. Converge believes participation in this important international travel event will help guests see Orlando as a welcoming and exciting destination.

“I talked to about a dozen Brazil tour operators about Orlando before coming to the annual IGLTA convention,” says Mikael Frank Audebert, Executive Director of Converge, “But having a chance to talk to about one hundred more all in one place is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. It is amazing the level of interest in stepping up tour activity to Central Florida.”

The top 10 US travel destinations participate in this annual event and until this year had never included Orlando. Converge jumped on the opportunity to exhibit at this important international travel conference and is scheduled to attend three other events this year that target gay and lesbian travelers.

Converge has three objectives at the international event:

  •          Promote Central Florida to the 125 tour operators and travel agents who book group and individual travel.
  •         Portray Orlando as the next “up and coming” gay and lesbian travel destination to the twenty LGBT media markets represented at the convention.
  •         Place Converge’s gay travel information in the hands of suppliers and travel agents—as well as travel writers and tour operators.

Gay and lesbian travel publications and websites only occasionally cover Orlando even though it is a top US destination.

“Travel writers for LGBT publications and websites are always hungry for information,” says Paul Queen, Marketing Director for Converge Orlando, Inc., “Just participating in this conference gets Orlando on the radar of writers. The payoff to Orlando is more content in the LGBT marketplace about what a wonderful place our community is for gay and lesbian tourists. We are hopeful of placing several feature articles about Central Florida yet this year.”

Converge Orlando, Inc. is the official LGBT Convention & Visitors Bureau for Orlando and Central Florida, doing business as OrlandoGayTravel.com. It is a non-profit 501 c6 public membership with a mission to promote Orlando to the LGBT traveler. The aim of Converge is to increase expenditures in the local economy by boosting gay and lesbian tourism and by marketing Central Florida as the gay-friendly community it is. Go to http://www.orlandogaytravel.com for more information.

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Nicolas Pedraza
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