8 June 2023

PROUD Experiences LA 2023




High-res images can be downloaded here.

Opening in Pride month in Los Angeles, PROUD Experiences hit record numbers and brought the international travel industry together to celebrate, educate and validate a sector that has endorsed the exhibition as the annual meeting place for the LGBTQ+ travel community.

Meeting for the first time in Los Angeles, PROUD Experiences took place at the Fairmont Century Plaza from 5-7 June providing a business platform for global travel brands, products, and services to meet with agents and travel planners focussed on creating leisure itineraries for their LGBTQ+ clients.

Opening the event, PROUD Experiences’ Event Director, Simon Mayle said “PROUD Experiences is about humanity. It's about the absolute goal of making everyone feel like they belong everywhere, encouraging people to be their true authentic selves, and giving the travel industry an opportunity and a platform to understand how they can become true advocates, whilst also adding real business opportunities. There are still some 64 countries that criminalize homosexuality, but we believe travel has the power to shift change.”

Commenting on how actions speak louder than words, Michelle Bearman, VP Sales, Ennismore Chicago said “Last year we attended with just a plus one and now we have a presence here this week of 32 hotels. PROUD Experiences is a fit for our brands because it supports what we were already doing. For example, we have a culture of sharing LGBTQ+ experiences throughout our global team, ensuring that training resonates right through the hotels and across every department. Next year we are going to do even more at this event.”

Similarly, Mohammad Ghazizadeh, Commercial Director, The Maybourne Beverly Hills commented on how maintaining and continually learning about how suppliers can create an inclusive welcome to their LGBTQ+ guests was a “brilliant aspect of PROUD Experiences.” “The Masterclasses were a great way to hear first-hand from other voices to validate what we are doing as a hotel group. My main business objective for PROUD this year was to make new connections and I have done. I also love that we get a full 15 minutes to connect with the agents and buyers – it gives us time to really talk and understand what their LGBTQ+ clients are wanting from their travel plans” he added. 

Chicago based Luxury Travel Advisor, Tom Ho with ProTravel International was at PROUD for the second time. “It’s all about comradery, friendship, and a sense of family at PROUD. The appointments are vital as they give me a chance to talk with the exhibitors to ensure our LGBTQ+ clients are safe and confident wherever they choose to stay. The Masterclass sessions really separate this event from others, they were a great source of information for me.”

Dame Kelly Holmes, who was a keynote speaker at the PROUD Gathering advised the 500+ attendees that “it’s really important you as an industry understand that not being accepted has a massive effect on an individual already worried about how people will react to them. Fears are real in people’s lives. Don’t think you know everything in your industry because it’s important to keep striving to be better. If you lead the way, people will follow, show you support the LGBTQ+ community, they are human beings after all and they deserve to have the best holiday ever!”

PROUD Experiences hosted some 180 suppliers from 40 countries including Anguilla, Estonia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Maldives, Mexico, Montenegro, St Barts & Seychelles with 170 buyers and agents from 10 countries including USA, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. An integral part of the event saw 20 speakers – part of the continuous PROUD Experiences Masterclass programme that ran throughout the event – all sharing their personal stories, guiding with advice and experiences helping the industry to move forward for the future of their LGBTQ+ guests.

Dates for next year were announced as 3-5 June 2024 at Fairmont Century Plaza once again.


About PROUD Experiences

PROUD Experiences is an international travel trade event that brings personally curated buyers and suppliers of travel experiences together through a pre-scheduled appointment system. This event will put the spotlight on a market that now deserves its own attention, with a community that spends over US$200billion a year on leisure travel. Buyers interested in attending should go to www.proudexperiences.com and apply.

About RX (Reed Exhibitions)

RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face to face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.  RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.rxglobal.com

About RELX

RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.  The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.*

*Note: Current market capitalisation can be found at http://www.relx.com/investors

For further information, interviews and image enquiries, please contact SPOTL1GHT Communications via Nina Gardiner ([email protected]) or Alexandra Gore ([email protected]).

SPOTL1GHT Communications is a London-based international public relations agency with global experience of working within the travel, luxury, lifestyle and event sectors.