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BA enters gay travel market

June 10, 2009

British Airways has agreed a new partnership deal with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).

As a Gold Global Partner of the association, the airline will gain special access to the IGLTA's 1,500 members, including travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers and media.

Richard Tams, British Airways head of UK & Ireland sales, said: "The spending power of the gay and lesbian market in the UK is estimated to be around £80 billion annually. This partnership reflects an increasing recognition of the importance of gay travellers. There has always been a strong affiliation with the gay community in the travel industry and this is a great opportunity to develop this relationship further."

BA quotes research that indicates that gay consumers have a higher propensity to travel than their straight counterparts, and tend to spend more during their holiday.

Carlos Kytka, European Ambassador of the IGLTA, said: "British Airways is one of the world's leading airlines. It has a long tradition of hospitality to gay and lesbian travellers and of celebrating diversity in its workplace. This partnership is a further sign of the airline's commitment to this market."

IGLTA is the world's leading organisation dedicated to connecting businesses in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender tourism industry.

Founded in 1983 in the United States with 25 members, the IGLTA now has more than 1500 members in 65 countries. Other travel trade partners include Accor Hotels, the Hilton Group and the World Travel Market.

Written by: Maxine Clarke