Australia’s lead LGBTQ+ travel association, Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia (GALTA), has welcomed industry professionals, Ben Woodward of the CaPTA Group and tourism management specialist, Sean Hodges-Colavitto, to its Board following the association’s Annual General Meeting for 2020.
The GALTA AGM was held at Water’s Edge Resort in Airlie Beach and was followed by a partnership industry networking event with Tourism Whitsundays and its members.
The GALTA Board also spent time meeting with its members in the region, including Ocean Rafting, Sundowner Cruises, Magnums Airlie Beach, at Hotel Group, Wings Sailing Charters and Whitsunday Escape.
The national tourism association, which promotes holiday experiences in Australia to LGBTQ+ travellers worldwide, is operated by a voluntary Board and team of state-based representatives and has a growing membership around Australia.
The incoming Board members join incumbent Directors, Louise Terry (President), Rod Stringer (Finance), Dennis Basham (Social Media) and Ty Sutherland, and bring years of experience and knowledge to the post.
Ben Woodward, Director of Sales and Marketing for the CaPTA Group in Cairns, will step into the role of Vice President and brings significant experience in tourism and LGBTQ+ pride events. Ben has worked in his family’s business, the CaPTA Group, since his young years and has seen it grow to become one of Australia’s largest privately owned group of attractions and touring companies.
Ben has served as Chair on the Board of Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree, President for SKAL International Cairns , and is currently on the National Board of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC). He was also President of Cairns Tropical Pride Festival and is the driving force behind gAyTE, the popular LGBTQ+ hosted function during Tourism Australia’s annual Australian Tourism Exchange.
Sean Hodges-Colavitto, founder of business management company, SHC Consultancy, will take on the role of GALTA Company Secretary and has over 15 years’ experience in tourism and leisure, from cafes and restaurants to large resorts and boutique hotels. Sean’s expertise spans marketing, sales, revenue management, customer service and systems integrations.
With qualifications across tourism management and operations, Sean is also a Young Tourism Leader as part of the Queensland Government’s program to mentor and inspire young people to find careers in tourism.
GALTA President, Louise Terry, said the new additions to the Board would be a wonderful asset not only to the team, but also for GALTA’s national members and the LGBTQ+ tourism industry in Australia at a much-needed time.
“In a year that has seen devastating bushfires and an ongoing global pandemic severely impacting tourism in Australia, the Board of GALTA is keen to play a part in our national tourism recovery and the skills that both Ben and Sean bring will be central to this effort,” she said
“Over the past 6 months, our priorities were to support members through the challenges as best we could and also take steps to ensure GALTA could continue to operate through the uncertainty and emerge in a solid position.”
“We’ve also been activating projects to help keep Australia top-of-mind internationally, such as a video series produced in partnership with Pink Media in the US – Voices of Australia – LGBTQ+ Travel – to showcase iconic events, operators and locations while also sharing a warm ‘G’day’ from Australia.”
“Moving forward, the Board will be focussed on a review of GALTA’s strategic plans to ensure we are aligned, on behalf of our members, with the new circumstances and opportunities for tourism into 2021 and beyond,” said Ms Terry.
The GALTA Board for 2020/2021 are:
President | Media & Partnerships – Louise Terry
Vice President – Ben Woodward
Company Secretary – Sean Hodges-Colavitto
Treasurer | National Representative Liaison – Rod Stringer
Director | Social Media – Dennis Basham
Director – Ty Sutherland
For more information, visit: www.visitgayaustralia.com.au for details.
Image: (L-R) Sean Hodges Colavitto, Rod Stringer, Louise Terry, Ben Woodward and Dennis Basham (absent Ty Sutherland) – courtesy of GALTA