LGBT tourism leaders are gathering in Fort Lauderdale this week to discuss trends in the industry and learn how to better serve their respective markets. Now in its 16th year, the Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) LGBT Tourism Conference comes to the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Dec. 9-11.

Richard Gray, LGBT market director for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the conference reaffirms a “long-standing and successful partnership.”

“Whether it’s the transgender community or the gay family travel market, Greater Fort Lauderdale is one of the most diverse and welcoming destinations in the country and we look forward to bringing together experts in the field for this important and thought-provoking conference.”

Attending the conference are representatives from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, Louisville (Ky.) Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Florida, Alaska Airlines, the City of New Orleans, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and many more organizations.

“This is an incredible opportunity to network and learn from key travel leaders,” Gray said.

The conference includes several “quality workshops,” Gray said, including presentations from international destinations such as China and the Dutch Caribbean.

Gray is slated to speak of the emerging family market under the LGBT umbrella and the greater Fort Lauderdale region’s efforts to attract those travelers.

“After marriage equality it just makes sense that we now begin outreach efforts to gay families,” Gray said.

As the only convention and visitors bureau in North America with a designated LGBT department, Gray said the greater Fort Lauderdale region is positioned as a global leader in the travel industry.