Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom
South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom will address the first-ever international LGBT business conference to be held in Africa.
He will participate in the upcoming 33rd Annual Global Convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) in Cape Town.
The ground-breaking event, set for 14 to 16 April at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, will include presentations from leaders in the tourism industry from Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States.
Hanekom is set to deliver the keynote welcome to the delegates and then participate in a conversation on global tourism with World Travel & Tourism Council President/CEO David Scowsill.
“We are delighted that the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association has decided to bring its annual convention to South Africa for the first time,” Hanekom said in a statement.
“It indicates that South Africa is now being recognised around the world as a country that respects the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of their gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. After decades of condemnation as the pariah of the world under apartheid, we are all proud of this remarkable achievement.
“I trust that this convention will help to advance the dignity and rights of gay and lesbian travellers even further, and that it will give our operators of establishments more insight into how to cater for this market,” added Hanekom.
“We hear so much anti-gay news coming out of Africa. This is an opportunity to take the conversation in a positive direction,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella. “This will be a truly special event, blending top-quality education, business development, and networking with events that showcase Cape Town, the most LGBT-welcoming destination in Africa.”
Homosexuality is criminalised in around 36 countries in Africa, with South Africa being the only nation on the continent with explicit constitutional protection for LGBT people, including same-sex marriage rights.
IGLTA is the leading member-based global organisation dedicated to LGBT tourism with the aim of expanding LGBT tourism globally for the benefit of travellers and members. For more information about the conference visit iglta.org/convention.