Pride Month Exclusive: Visit Atlantic City’s Larry Sieg

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Meet AC President and CEO Larry Sieg
Photo credit: Visit Atlantic City

Larry Sieg, President and CEO of Visit Atlantic City, shares some thoughts on the past, present and future of LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the meetings, events and hospitality industry.

Larry Sieg has been President and CEO of Atlantic City convention and visitors bureau Visit Atlantic City since 2020, but he has been on the frontlines of the meetings, hospitality and tourism business since he first joined the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority in 1998. During his career, he also has held positions on committees and boards of directors as well as an officer for many local organizations, including The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance.

Prevue recently had the opportunity to ask him to share some thoughts on the past, present and future of inclusivity when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.

Prevue: Why is this such an important market segment for all destinations?

Sieg: The LGBTQ+ market segment is crucial for the economic impact of a destination due to their high spending power, loyalty, tendency for year-round travel, event-based tourism and positive influence on the destination’s image and economy.

Prevue: As someone who has been in the tourism and hospitality business for a several decades, what have been some of the most significant changes for the better for LGBTQ meeting professionals, destinations and attendees?

Sieg: Significant advancements in branding, marketing and DEI initiatives collectively contributed to a more inclusive and accepting environment for LGBTQ+ individuals, though challenges and disparities still exist that continue to require attention and action.

Prevue: What are some of the biggest headwinds we face in today’s environment when it comes to making our meetings — and our cities — more welcoming to LGBTQ participants?

Sieg: I feel that the political climate will shape the future of where members of the LGBTQ+ community will travel.  They must feel they are traveling to a welcoming and safe environment.

Prevue: Do you have any suggestions for ways those who plan meetings, events, conventions and conferences can make their events more welcoming to all? What can destinations do to help them implement these changes?

Sieg: Use inclusive language and imagery in marketing materials to show that the conference or meeting welcomes LGBTQ+ travelers. Highlight LGBTQ+-friendly businesses, events and attractions in the destination

Support LGBT events and festivals. Host or sponsor LGBTQ+ events such as Pride parades, film festivals and other cultural events. These events can draw large numbers of visitors and signal the destination’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Also, provide training for staff on how to serve LGBTQ+ attendees respectfully and effectively. This includes understanding appropriate language and being aware of the unique needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ travelers.

Prevue: If you have a Magic 8-ball handy, what does it say for the future of LGBTQ-friendly events and destinations? 

Sieg: The future of LGBTQ+-friendly events is likely to be shaped by several trends and developments, reflecting broader social, cultural and technological changes.

You May Also Be Interested In…

5 Ways to Celebrate Pride Month 2024

Introducing the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association

Make Your Event LGBTQ-Inclusive

 

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