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St. Pete lands global LGBT tourism convention

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete was chosen to host the 2017 International Lesbian Travel Association”s Annual Global Convention. It’s the first time St. Pete has been selected to host the annual event.

The convention will be at the Reaissance Vinoy in downtown St. Pete May 3-6, 2017.

“Not only does St. Pete have a charming downtown and incredible beaches, it also boasts major attractions like the Dali Museum and has been actively engaged in the LGBT market,” said IGLTA Board Chair Dan Melesurgo. “Our goal as a travel association is to showcase the host destination in conjunction with the conference, so we look forward to expanding the global audience for St. Pete. We know our attendees are going to fall in love with it, if they’re not already fans.”

While the Vinoy recently signed on as one of the association’s global partners, St. Pete was chosen in part due to its already thriving LGBT communities. With some 250,000 flooding into the Grand Central District each year, St. Pete hosts Florida’s largest Pride Parade in Florida.

“As home to one of the largest Pride events in America, St. Petersburg/Clearwater has long been a welcoming destination for the LGBT traveler,” David Downing, Executive Director Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater said. “We’re honored to be the host city for IGLTA’s 2017 Annual Global Convention, and we look forward to showing off our gorgeous white sand beaches, world-class cultural scene and unique Gulf Coast vibe.”

The global convention is considered the premier educational and networking event for members of the LGBT tourism industry.

The IGLTA focuses on travel-friendly issues surrounding the LGBT community. Key areas of emphasis are LGBT-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers and events. The group is an affiliate member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

The group’s website contains information about great destinations for LGBT individuals, couples and families including St. Pete.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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