19 October 2023 - Rail Europe and ELTA sign partnership to champion LGBTQIA+ travel across the continent
Rail Europe, the leading provider of train and rail passes across Europe, is thrilled to announce its active membership and partnership with the European LGBTQIA+ Travel Association (ELTA), in a commitment to embracing diversity and ensuring inclusivity in travel. This union underscores a collective dedication to fostering a welcoming and safe travel environment for all, irrespective of gender, sexuality, or identity.
ELTA is dedicated to advocating for safe, inclusive, and equal travel experiences for the LGBTQIA+ community throughout Europe. By partnering with businesses, destinations, and travel providers, ELTA works towards ensuring the travel industry is as vibrant and diverse as the people it serves.
"At Rail Europe, diversity isn’t merely a concept; it is one of our foundational pillars, deeply embedded in our values. Partnering with ELTA allows us to reinforce our commitment to championing the spirit of inclusive and accessible travel across Europe. The journeys we offer not only connect cities but also cultures, communities, and people, honouring the rich, diverse spectrum of experiences and identities that traverse our continent,” says Björn Bender, Executive Chairman and CEO of Rail Europe.
"It is a historic agreement for LGBTQ+ tourism, we are now able to count on the support of such an important player in the rail industry. Rail Europe, in the person of its CEO Björn Bender, was immediately willing to enter into a partnership with ELTA, united by their interest in promoting inclusive tourism in accordance with the DE&I principles contained in the QueerVadis protocolwich defines the essential guidelines, behaviours and good practices for marketing, sales, customer care and welcoming the LGBTQ+ community and provides useful indications on how to also approach diversity management' within companies," says Alessio Virgili, president of ELTA.
By collaborating with ELTA, Rail Europe endeavours to enhance the travel experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies, ensuring they feel not only welcomed but celebrated on every journey. This partnership will involve:
- Specialized Journeys: Collaboratively recommending rail journeys and packages that cater to LGBTQIA+ travellers, integrating stops at historically and culturally significant destinations within the community.
- Involvement and Support: Participating in bringing people to LGBTQIA+ events, festivals, and pride celebrations across Europe, harnessing the power of the rail network to bring communities together.
This partnership intends to bridge the gaps between diverse communities across Europe, enabling connections, fostering understanding, and promoting cultural exchange. Rail Europe and ELTA are paving the way towards a more inclusive and accessible travel industry.
About Rail Europe
Rail Europe is the global reference brand for European train booking. We have been the trusted partner of the travel industry and train operators for 90 years. Our rail expert teams provide technology solutions and customer care services to +15,000 partners in more than 70 countries. International travellers who want to travel by train easily throughout Europe can also book their travel directly through our state-of-the-art train booking website and app. Our catalogue of products focuses on 200 rail providers such as SNCF, SBB, Eurostar, Trenitalia, Italo, DB, Renfe, ÖBB, SNCB, NS, OUIGO Spain and National Rail, and rail passes including the Swiss Travel Pass and Eurail Passes. We sell around 5 million European train tickets every year. Our offices are around the globe and we are headquartered in Paris.
ELTA (European LGBTQ+ Travel Alliance) is an association based in Brussels which aims to attract LGBTQ+ tourism to Europe. ELTA intends to lead the continuous growth and improvement of this tourist segment, to support the debate on DE&I issues at institutional level, to be a tool for education and guidance in tourism choices made by travelers, so that Europe becomes an increasingly inclusive and attractive destination for the international LGBTQ+ community. ELTA’s mission is to work with its members to inform and shape the debate also in industry bodies. The vision of the association is to promote inclusion in Europe, providing information to LGBTQ+ travelers and activating networking, information, training, and awareness actions.
Comunication manager ELTA