The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association Foundation will showcase its enhanced partnership with World Travel Market (WTM) Africa to power this year’s EQUAL Africa in Cape Town on 3 April.
Held as part of Africa Travel Week, EQUAL Africa will feature several educational sessions focused on insights and best practices to create a more inclusive tourism industry. During the conference, the IGLTA Foundation will unveil its third Leadership Think Tank Report titled, “How the Private Sector Can Drive LGBTQ+ Tourism Development in Emerging Destinations.” The report will provide recommendations to support the advancement of LGBTQ+ travel and will be available to download from the IGLTA website after its launch.
The IGLTA Foundation also will recognize Kenyan entrepreneur Rodney Otieno (he/him) as the first EQUAL Africa Fellowship recipient. He is the co-founder of The Queer & Allied Chamber of Commerce (QACC Africa) based in Nairobi, an organization that promotes economic relationships between queer-owned and operated businesses, entrepreneurs, and their allies, in nations throughout Africa. The IGLTA Foundation Fellowship Program provides support and opportunities for emerging leaders in the LGBTQ+ tourism industry. This is the first time the Fellowship program has been offered for an event outside of the IGLTA Global Convention and highlights the IGLTA Foundation’s continued growth.
“EQUAL Africa brings together global travel professionals to create more dialogue around safe and inclusive travel for all. We are thrilled to help make this important event happen,” said IGLTA President/CEO John Tanzella (he/him).
“We are especially excited to introduce Foundation Fellowship recipient Rodney Otieno in Cape Town and share his story with other travel leaders. His work exemplifies the positive impact that LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and businesses can have on communities throughout Africa.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the IGLTA Foundation Fellowship to attend EQUAL Africa at WTM Africa in Cape Town,” said Rodney Otieno, who operates WK Inclusive Travel in addition to founding QACC Africa.
“I have no doubt that LGBTQ+ tourism will continue to flourish here in Kenya, as the hub to East Africa, but also throughout the continent as most of the younger generation support diversity and there are many queer and queer-allied people operating in the tourism sector, providing fabulous tourism services. Attending EQUAL Africa will allow me, in my role as co-founder of the Queer & Allied Chamber of Commerce Africa, to support upcoming queer tourism entrepreneurs and promote further investment in LGBTQ+ businesses, whilst also promoting Kenya and the region as a safe and uniquely enjoyable tourism destination.”
As a member of IGLTA, WTM Africa has become a strong partner to expand support and visibility for LGBTQ+ travel in the region. IGLTA has worked with WTM Africa since 2015 to develop LGBTQ+ educational content and events like EQUAL Africa.
“We are proud to partner with IGLTA on EQUAL Africa to promote inclusive and diverse tourism experiences in Africa. As we strive to rebuild and grow the African tourism industry, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that everyone feels welcome and safe when traveling in Africa, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Africa Travel Week’s Megan De Jager (she/her), Portfolio Director-Travel, Tourism and RX Africa Marketing.
“We believe that by championing LGBTQ+ inclusion, we can create a more vibrant and accepting tourism landscape, one that reflects the true beauty and diversity of our continent.”
The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association is the global leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel and a proud Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers and expand LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact. IGLTA’s global network includes 12,000+ LGBTQ+ welcoming accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events, and travel media in 80 countries. The philanthropic IGLTA Foundation empowers LGBTQ+ welcoming travel businesses globally through leadership, research, and education. For more information: iglta.org, igltaconvention.org or iglta.org/foundation and follow us on Facebook @IGLTA, @IGLTABusiness or @IGLTAFoundation, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram @iglta.