Tourism Leaders Come Together for Africa’s First Global LGBT Business Conference

South Africa's Minister for Tourism Derek Hanekom
South Africa’s Minister for Tourism Derek Hanekom

The 33rd Annual Global Convention of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association will be the first LGBT business conference of its kind on the African continent. The groundbreaking event, set for 14-16 April 2016 at the iconic Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, will include presentations from leaders in the tourism industry from Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States.

South African Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom is set to deliver the keynote welcome to the IGLTA delegates and then participate in a conversation on global tourism with World Travel & Tourism Council President/CEO David Scowsill. Pacific Asia Travel Association CEO Mario Hardy will also address attendees during the three-day event.

“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.”

In 1996, South Africa became the first country in the world to constitutionally prohibit sexual orientation-based discrimination. Same-sex marriage became legal in 2006. “We are delighted that the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association has decided to bring its annual convention to South Africa for the first time,” Minister Hanekom said.

“It indicates that South Africa is now being recognized 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.”


The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is the leading member-based global organization dedicated to LGBT tourism and a proud Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. IGLTA’s mission is to expand LGBT tourism globally for the benefit of travelers and members. The association’s membership includes LGBT and LGBT-friendly accommodations, destinations, service providers, travel agents, tour operators, events and travel media in 80 countries.