ORLANDO — After the attack on Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 50 people and seriously injured 53, the travel industry has come to together to both condemn and mourn the events from Saturday night.
Two of the victims include travel agent Edward Sotomayor of Al and Chuck Travel, an LGBT tour operator, and Luis Velma, an attendant for the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios.
The UNWTO released a statement today to express its condolences.
“On the behalf of the international tourism community, UNWTO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims and expresses its full solidarity with the people and the Government of United States of America” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “This hideous crime reminds us once again we are facing a global threat and that we need to more than ever stay together, strengthen our cooperation and continue to fight prejudice” he added.
Also expressing its condolences is Visit Orlando: “Our deepest sympathies go toward those impacted and affected by this terrible tragedy. We are appalled and saddened by this senseless act. We continue to work with our community partners on the evolving nature of this incident and have total trust in the dedication of our public officials’ leadership during this difficult time,” said George Aguel, President & CEO.
Dan Burn, founder of OutofOffice.com, which specializes in gay-friendly travel itineraries, wrote to his subscribers: “We were set up based on my own personal experiences. I want to be able to holiday in the Maldives, I want to be able to one day visit Russia and I certainly want to be able to travel to countries where I’m welcome. The aim of OutOfOffice.com is that first and foremost we help ensure that LGBT travellers travel safely abroad in the full knowledge of the challenges they might face. But yesterday’s attack shows that even in countries where the LGBT community is welcome, nothing can prevent senseless violence and terror.”
Travel agencies and operators took to social media to express their support:
From the Chairman of Universal Parks and Resorts pic.twitter.com/6XwO8tsypi
— Universal Orlando (@UniversalORL) June 12, 2016
From the President and COO of Universal Orlando Resort pic.twitter.com/OmuNmUORpQ
— Universal Orlando (@UniversalORL) June 13, 2016
— OUT Adventures (@outadventures) June 13, 2016
— Liz RainbowTravel (@LesbianTravel) June 12, 2016