cape_town_wins_bid_to_host_international_gay_tourism_convention_IGLTACape Town has scored a major coup that’s set to cement its place as one of the world’s top gay tourism destinations.

The Mother City has won its bid to host the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s (IGLTA) 33rd Annual Global Convention in 2016.

This marks the first time that IGLTA will hold its premier educational and networking conference in an African country in its 30-year history.

IGLTA is the leading global LGBT tourism organisation; representing LGBT and LGBT-friendly accommodation, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events, and LGBT tourists.

“Cape Town is a world- class city – incredibly scenic and with a vibrant LGBT community. It has all the right ingredients to ensure a successful convention,” said Dan Melesurgo, IGLTA Board Chair.

“Bringing the convention to Africa for the first time is an opportunity to grow our membership there and create greater understanding and awareness of the LGBT travel market on the continent.”

Convention bids were evaluated during the association’s recent board meeting in Madrid, host city of IGLTA’s 2014 convention next May.

“Securing the bid for the IGLTA Annual Global Convention in 2016 is a major triumph for South Africa as a leading destination for LGBT travellers,” commented Laura Saeger, Meeting and Convention Sales Manager of South African Tourism North America.

“Cape Town is the ideal backdrop for the IGLTA convention. We’re confident this event will set a new precedent for our destination, and we look forward to forging deeper connections with the committee and its partners moving forward.”

Last year, an international survey found that Cape Town was set to become one of the top twenty international gay travel destinations in 2013.

Cape Town’s growth as a gay tourism hot-spot has not been welcomed by everyone. Anti-gay religious groups such as the Family Policy Institute have slammed the city for its support of LGBT travellers and for backing events such as the MCQP party.

In 2010, the organisation’s notoriously homophobic Pastor, Errol Naidoo, said that “the City of Cape Town is using rate-payers money to actively promote sexual perversion” by promoting the city as a gay tourism destination.

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