LoAnn Halden is Vice President-Communications for the International LGBTQ+ Association, the global leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers and expand LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact. In her role, LoAnn frequently speaks to global media outlets about LGBTQ+ tourism trends and has participated in travel sessions for consumers and trade on five continents, including WTM Africa, Barcelona LGBTI Tourism Summit, the New York Times Travel Show, GNetwork360 in Buenos Aires and the JATA Expo in Tokyo. She is based in Fort Lauderdale, home to IGLTA headquarters, and London.
What do you love most about Africa?
Wildlife is my weakness. The landscapes of Africa provide stunning backdrops for observation and contemplation of creatures large and small. Also, sunsets in the bush are so beautiful they break your heart.
Where are you heading in 2021? What adventures await you?
Short-term, the Lot in the French countryside, for the markets and the stars. It’s an easy trip from London. Beyond that, my wife and I are debating our honeymoon destination, since 2020 hijacked our wedding plans. Nothing concrete, but returning to Africa is ranking very high on both of our lists!
What is the favourite thing about your role in Africa Travel Week?
I am so proud to bring LGBTQ+ content to the Africa Travel Week stage. I’m a big believer in the transformative power of travel and its ability to build bridges of understanding between people. The more businesses that support inclusion, the more LGBTQ+ travellers will feel safe to visit Africa and let the magic of it sweep them away.
Based on your 5 senses, what are you looking forward to most during the next Convention:
- I’m looking forward to seeing our members in person again. IGLTA is like my extended family.
- I’m looking forward to tasting: Southern fried chicken. Atlanta has a great, modern food scene, but the classics are also important!
- I’m looking forward to feeling: The buzz of energy in a room of networking tourism professionals.
- I’m looking forward to hearing: Thought-provoking content on diversity, equity and inclusion.
- I’m looking forward to smelling: The Italian wine at our closing reception to toast our 2022 location, Milan.