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LGBT Tourism Online Training For Travel Agents Launched At WTM 2012
January 14, 2013

LGBT Tourism Online Training For Travel Agents Launched At WTM 2012


14 January 2013

Mumbai: Destinations at the forefront of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Tourism marketing have developed the first ever specialist LGBT online training for travel agents and tour operators, and the same was launched at World Travel Market (WTM) 2012 where the first ever LGBT Pavilion was put up.

Visit Helsinki, and Tourismus & Congress Frankfurt have become the first destination tourism offices to develop targeted training specifically for travel agents and tour operators aimed at increasing LGBT visitors to their cities. The deals were struck at WTM 2012. Visit Helsinki was one of the 12 companies that exhibited in the first ever WTM LGBT Pavilion. The new training modules will be built and managed by the world's leading LGBT marketing firm, Out Now Global, which organised the inaugural WTM LGBT Pavilion. It is the first time that a specific LGBT-focused training content has been available to mainstream travel agents, according to a report in travmedia.com.

The training modules will be launched early this year in partnership with WTM exhibitor Online Travel Training and TTG Knowledge, as part of their suite of training modules and courses. The new destination-specific, e-learning courses will be free for all travel agents who have completed this initial course, and will be marketed and available to a global network of over 60,000 travel trade professionals through OTT's comprehensive database, and promoted in leading travel trade journal the Travel Trade Gazette.

Research from the LGBT2020 study released at London WTM in November 2012 revealed that the global LGBT Tourism spend during 2013 will top USD 181 billion. Hanna Muoniovaara, Marketing Manager, Visit Helsinki, said, "It is critical we build smart strategic partnerships. Out Now Business Class is a well-designed and highly effective way for us to strengthen our trade relationships to expand sales in the LGBT market."

Besides featuring LGBT nightlife and festivals, each destination-specific training module will highlight other key activities and areas of interest to LGBT travellers. The importance of cuisine, local history, museums, art galleries, walking, beaches, mainstream nightlife, as well as art and events have all been analysed for each partner destination based on ranking the relevant importance of each for respondents to the LGBT2020 global research study when they travel.

Ian Johnson, CEO and Founder, Out Now Global, said, "This new initiative has the potential to expand the market reach for LGBT sales substantially. Travel agents and tour operators now account for more than 30 per cent of all LGBT sales in most markets globally, so by providing specialist training and relevant LGBT product information we are able to give our partner destinations a much enhanced competitive edge. Thanks to OTT, this new training resource is being made available to an extensive global network of more than 60,000 travel agents and tour operators."