Plett Tourism hosts LGBTQ+ travel workshop 

Plett Tourism LGBTQ+ Workshop at The Plettenberg
Published: May 13th, 2021

Plett Tourism hosts travel trade niche marketing workshop focused on the LGBTQ+ travel market

The first of a series of niche market workshops organized by Plett Tourism was presented on the 12th of May and was co-hosted by Plett Tourism and The Plettenberg Hotel.

The workshop was focused on the LGBTQ+ Travel Market and included an introduction to this dynamic niche group with a breakdown of the LGTBQ+ definitions and demographics, international and domestic market research and a brief overview of the key marketing points to reach this market.

Guest speakers included Martina Barth, the Africa Representative for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), and Michael Gladwin, the founder of AfriGay Travel.

“With the development and growth of our Domestic Marketing Strategy, we uncovered a gem with the LGBTQ+ Travel as it reaches into both the domestic and the international markets. After researching and exploring this market, we realized that in order for us as a town to benefit and focus, we required expert assistance to help us with a series of workshops to better understand this particular niche which is a crucial component our strategy going forward,” says Patty Butterworth (CEO, Plett Tourism).

Plett Tourism LGBTQ+ Workshop at The Plettenberg
Plett Tourism LGBTQ+ Workshop at The Plettenberg

She also adds, “this is one of the fastest-growing travel markets, and we are very excited that recent research shows South Africa, and in particular the Garden Route, is exactly what this niche is looking for in a preferred destination. It is dynamic and somewhat misunderstood, and we hope that our series of workshops will help demystify the LGBTQ+ traveler and will allow our local hospitality products to benefit.”

This introductory workshop was attended by Plett Tourism representatives, Bitou Municipal Economic Development & Tourism representatives and business owners and managers from the private sector. The workshop was open to paid members of Plett Tourism. A second workshop will include front-of-house training for products and services that engage with the LGBTQ+ Travel Market.

If you missed this workshop, presentation material will soon be made available on the Plett Tourism website; under the Membership Tab / Industry Documents section on the website,

Plett Tourism LGBTQ+ Workshop at The Plettenberg
Plett Tourism LGBTQ+ Workshop at The Plettenberg


With a career spanning over 28 years in the tourism and hospitality industry and having worked for some of the leading hotel groups, Martina Barth brings a deep understanding of many aspects of the tourism industry. She is also the Group Sales Manager for the Liz McGrath Collection. Her keen interest in advancing the LGBTQ+ Travel segment has been a focus since first attending the IGLTA Global convention held in Cape Town in 2016.

Martina is incredibly passionate about cultivating, building, and strengthening relationships with travel partners across the various market segments. She has led an illustrious career curating and implementing innovative sales strategies that help build strong brands and she has a strong passion that includes making the world more inclusive and welcoming for all.

As the Founder of AfriGay Travel, an exclusive LGBTQ+ travel operation creating in and outbound experiences for the LGBTQ+ traveler, Micheal Gladwin was an IGLTA Foundation Scholarship recipient in 2017, and has since been an active member offering support to the South African market.

Whilst perfecting his sourdough-making skills during the ‘great travel pause’, much time has been spent on developing an engaging LGBTQ+ awareness, education and sensitivity workshop, dedicated to changing the way the tourism industry does business with the LGBTQ+ traveler. The workshops carry the name ‘All Stay’ and provide a much-needed transformation in the mainstream landscape, demystifying and normalising the community stereotypes in South Africa and soon across the globe.