Queer Destinations Announces Edgar Weggelaar as New CEO

Madrid, Monday, March 6, 2023

Queer Destinations, a global leader in LGBTQ+ tourism, strengthens its management structure by appointing Edgar Weggelaar as the new CEO of the company. Queer Destinations, which already operates in more than 7 countries, works closely with the Federal Secretary of Tourism of the Government of Mexico and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain, as well as with companies such as Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Palladium Hotel Group and Meliá Hotels International. The company holds a unique worldwide distinction for companies and service providers (Queer Destinations Committed) that guarantees community travelers a standard of excellence, safety and responsibility. The appointment of the new CEO comes at a key moment for the company, which is in the process of expanding into the North American and Asia-Pacific markets and strengthening its current presence in Latin America and Europe. The project also has as a new partner Juan P. Juliá Blanch, founder and president of Axel Hotels, the global hotel chain focused on LGBTQ+ tourism and who was president of the IGLTA Board of Directors during 2016-2019.
Edgar Weggelaar is an outstanding professional with extensive experience in inbound and outbound tourism, both domestically and internationally. For more than 18 years, he has worked for groups such as TUI BENELUX and Intermed Travel Group, as responsible and director of destinations such as Greece, Turkey and Egypt. He has also served as a key person, member of Board Member and CEO of some of the most important companies of the Julià Group for 10 years: Juliá Travel and Juliá Travel WorldWide. Pioneering examples of global tour operation, distribution and tourism transport with offices in Spain, Andorra, Italy, UK, USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Australia. He is co-founder and Vice President of the Tourism Innovation Summit (TIS) in Seville, a global event on technology, innovation, diversity and sustainability applied to tourism, where he continues to serve as Strategic Advisor for this and other events organized by Nebext (Next Business Exhibitions).  In addition, Weggelaar holds a degree in Business, Tourism and Recreation from the Erasmushogeschool in Brussels (Belgium) and a PDD (Management Development Program) from IESE and speaks 9 languages.
For Oriol Pàmies, founder and president of Queer Destinations, the addition of Weggelaar to the project is key to continuing to drive the company’s international expansion. “The trajectory, notoriety and experience of Weggelaar, who is also a partner of the company, will mark a before and after in a project that is transforming the tourism industry, promoting diversity and inclusion from education,” he highlighted.
Queer Destinations was founded in 2019 by Oriol Pàmies as the bridge that connects governments, destinations and companies in the tourism sector with the potential of the LGBTQ+ segment. In alliance with the IGLTA (International LGBTQ+ Travel Association), the company works hand in hand with governments (Spain, Mexico, among others…) in order to promote LGBTQ+ tourism strategies at a national level whose basis lies in raising awareness of destinations and companies to give the best attention to the traveler. Through the Queer Destinations Committed Distinction, which today is present in more than 7 countries, more than 15,000 industry professionals have gone through its awareness building process which is supported by the main players in the industry, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott Hotels International, Meliá International, Palladium Hotel Group, Hard Rock Hotels, Hertz, among others. An initiative that is changing the way in which the LGBTQ+ community makes its travel decisions, being able to choose from more and more destinations and companies that are making a demonstrable effort to welcome them according to international standards.