2016 IGLTA Honors Announced
PHOTO: Shintaro Koizumi, one of IGLTA's Ambassadors of the Year (photo by Leslie Kee)
Fort Lauderdale, FL (10 March 2016) —The 33rd Annual Global Convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association in Cape Town (14-16 April) will showcase events and individuals that have enhanced the landscape of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism. The IGLTA board of directors selects the IGLTA Honors from the association’s member businesses in 80 countries and its allies.
“Our conference is known for its networking and educational opportunities, but it’s also a place to celebrate those who are improving the world of LGBT travel,” says IGLTA Board Chair Dan Melesurgo. “This year’s IGLTA Honors recipients come from Spain, Japan, and South Africa, and have all made significant contributions to making their countries safer and more welcoming.”
• Community (based in IGLTA’s convention host city): Nondumiso "Ndumie" Funda is a lesbian activist fighting for LGBT rights in the townships of Cape Town. In March 2008, she founded the organization Luleki Sizwe, named after her late fiancée and her best friend. Both women were raped because of their sexual orientation and died from HIV/AIDS. Luleki Sizwe, which means "discipline the nation constructively," focuses on education to combat homophobia.
• Networking: Fitur Gay (LGBT) was established in 2011 as an exhibition and educational conference dedicated to the LGBT tourism segment within the Fitur international trade fair in Madrid, Spain, and has shown significant growth each year. This event provides a showcase for LGBT businesses and events in Spain (and beyond) to a global audience of tourism and media professionals.
In addition, the IGLTA staff honors a member of its volunteer ambassador team for outstanding contributions to the association and LGBT tourism.
• Ambassador(s) of the Year: Shiho Ikeuchi and Shintaro Koizumi, representing Western Japan and Asia, respectively. Ikeuchi is the Director of Overseas Marketing at the Hotel Granvia in Kyoto; Koizumi is president of Tokyo-based Out Asia Travel. Through their collaborative efforts, Japan now has the largest number of IGLTA member businesses in Asia.
The event would not be possible without the generous support of our convention sponsors.
Presenting Level – South Africa Tourism, South African Airways, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, United States Agency for International Development
Official Level – Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau, IBM, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Rhino Africa Safaris, Tourism Toronto, VisitBritain, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Conference Level – Preferred Hotel Group, Silversea
Conference Partners – The GSA Travel Trade Monthly, IGLTA Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Gay & Lesbian Tourism Association, Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, Uthando South Africa
SOURCE: IGLTA press release
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