LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) gathered here for it’s global conference the first weekend in May. The event commemorated 25 years of service to LGBT travelers across the world, while simultaneously celebrating the glory of its own success.

With more than 430 registrations, IGLTA experienced a 67 percent increase over its 2007 convention in Montreal, as well as the previous year’s gathering in Washington, D.C.

According to convention organizers, 25 countries were represented in Vegas. From within the U.S., representatives from more than 29 states attended the conference. The largest state delegations were from California, Florida, New York and Nevada.

Other national delegations included representatives from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curacao, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mauritius, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

“Las Vegas pulled out all the stops to host us in their wonderful city,” said John Tanzella, IGLTA executive director. “The benefit to our convention attendees was substantial, both in terms of the fun factor and in enhancing their experience as business professionals during our convention.”

IGLTA is the world’s largest and oldest travel industry association dedicated to growing and improving gay and lesbian tourism through education, promotion and networking. Members of the organization include airlines, cruise lines, tourism offices, travel agencies, accommodations, tour operators, publications, journalists, Pride events and more.

The gay travel conference was held concurrently with Las Vegas Pride.

In related gay travel news, pollster Harris Interactive is teaming up with gay media expert Witeck-Combs Communications to produce the partnerships’ second annual study of LGBT travelers and their latest travel trends, attitudes and brand awareness.

The study, expected to be released in June or July, will break important new ground by looking at the impact of LGBT microsites (gay-specific travel sites created by large travel companies), the importance of environmentally-friendly brands and destinations and social networking behaviors.

The report is also aimed to help identify media sources that are most influential in LGBT individuals’ research, shopping and travel booking. For the first time, this research also will highlight and contrast business travel conducted by LGBT and heterosexual consumers.

The national online survey will be conducted among approximately 2,000 self-identified U.S. LGBT adult travelers (ages 21 and older) who have taken at least one leisure trip within the past 12 months. In addition, another 1,000 U.S. general population adult travelers will be surveyed.

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