Partnership between ETOA and ELTA
Cooperation between the European tourism industry and the European LGBTQ+ Tourism Alliance in support of inclusivity, a fundamental social sustainability goal.
Partnership between ELTA (European LGBTQ+ Travel Alliance) and ETOA (European Tourism Association) has been signed; a very important agreement for both associations.
ELTA, based in Brussels, was initially funded by the Italian LGBTQ+ Tourism Association (AITGL), soon joined by AccorHotels, Best Western Italy Group, EasyJet, ENIT, Visit Malta and many others.
It aims to promote diversity, equity and inclusion by collaborating with European companies and institutions, supporting in particular European businesses and local destinations in that journey. ELTA has already adhered to the European Tourism Manifesto alliance and the Code of Conduct in the management of sensitive data in tourism. ELTA responds to Europe’s need for inclusive social and economic development, in policy and implementation.
ETOA is the trade association for better tourism in Europe. They work with policymakers to enable a fair and sustainable business environment, so that Europe remains competitive and appealing for visitors and residents. With 1,100 members serving 65 origin markets, they are a powerful voice at local, national and European levels. Their members include tour and online operators, intermediaries and wholesalers, European tourist boards, hotels, attractions, technology companies and other tourism service providers ranging in size from global brands to local independent businesses.
Under this agreement, the two partners will work together to spread the benefits of inclusive promotion and hospitality.
They will inform and educate the European market through the organization of joint webinars for ETOA members and support the promotion and development of LGBTQ+ tourism in Europe.
ETOA members will have access to courses concerning updates on the EU’s DEI (Diversity Equity & Inclusion) programme, LGBTQ+ tourism marketing and other topics offered by ELTA.
The partnership will also champion good practice by sharing successful case studies of tour operators, hotels, destinations working towards inclusive tourism.
“The Diversity & Inclusion programme presents European companies with a choice that can no longer be postponed, as one cannot be sustainable only with words,” Alessio Virgili said, president of ELTA. “Several studies show that companies with inclusiveness and diversity in their teams and market offers have higher revenues, both because of their capacity for innovation and because they are more appreciated by the market. We are therefore particularly proud of this collaboration with ETOA, which demonstrates how the European tourism industry is paying attention to issues of equity and inclusion. It is no coincidence that ETOA participated at last year’s General States of LGBTQ Tourism in Europe in Milan as the only sector association with a European scope”.
“European tourism’s long-term success depends on respect and inclusivity for all parts of the community,” said Tim Fairhurst, Secretary General ETOA. “This is true for operators and agents developing product, destinations and their supply chain, and the visitors they hope to welcome. ELTA rightly recognises this is an economic as well as social opportunity, and we look forward to working together to build awareness and support positive change”.
ETOA was founded in 1989 as an association for tour operators who sold Europe as a destination in long-haul origin markets. It has evolved since those early days to embrace regional operators, online intermediaries, wholesale travel companies and any commercial player who is interested in selling themselves as part of a pan-European product. It now numbers over 1100 members, including nearly 400 intermediaries and operators.