Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia (GALTA) has appointed two new board members and reappointed three in the lead-up to Sydney WorldPride 2023.
The Emerald City was tapped to host the global pride celebration in August, after 23 years of WorldPride being hosted exclusively by northern hemisphere cities.
Similar to the Olympics – except much more fun (and inclusive) – WorldPride takes place every second year in a different city to promote visibility and awareness of issues on an international level across the LGBTQ+ community.
Gerry Bourke (general manager across various Quest Apartment Hotels properties) and Jai Leighton (director of operations with JW Marriot Gold Coast Resort & Spa) have both been appointed to the GALTA board for two-year terms.
GALTA president Louise Terry has been reappointed to the position, while board directors Rodney Stringer and Dennis Basham have also been reappointed for two-year terms.
Terry said the new additions to the board would strengthen the organisation’s capabilities to deliver greater benefits to its members by driving more commercial opportunities as travel reopens through 2022 and Sydney prepares to host WorldPride in early 2023.
“As we emerge from COVID and confidence returns, tourism is a sector that stands to benefit, not only from state borders reopening to more domestic travel, but also as the inbound market reboots, with some international flights already starting to get back in the air,” she said.
“GALTA members can be found in each state of Australia, from cities to regional locations, and they are ready to welcome LGBTQ+ travellers back to experience their destinations, accommodation, tours, attractions and hospitality venues.
“To support tourism businesses in welcoming LGBTQ+ travellers, GALTA will be running a series of industry workshops around Australia in 2022 to provide research updates, marketing directions, distribution strategies and firsthand traveller insights.
“We also know that pride festivals are a key attractor for LGBTQ+ travellers, and there is a great line-up of city and regional celebrations poised for 2022. Pair this with the global anticipation surrounding Sydney WorldPride in early 2023 and it’s clear that LGBTQ+ travel will play an important role in Australia’s tourism recovery.”
This year, GALTA’s annual general meeting was held in person and virtually from the offices of Tourism Tropical North Queensland in Cairns.
Following the AGM, a number of board directors had the opportunity to meet with the TTNQ team, attend the Cairns Pride Festival Closing Party and also experience some of the region’s Aboriginal cultural tourism products represented by GALTA member Welcome to Country.
GALTA is a national tourism association that promotes holiday experiences in Australia to LGBTQ+ travellers worldwide. It is operated by a voluntary board and team of state-based representatives and has a growing membership base around Australia.
Featured image: GALTA board directors with some of the Tourism Tropical North Queensland team